Connecticut Works to Develop a Plan for the Future of Health Care

Dec 20, 2013

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At the end of this month, Connecticut will submit a plan for a radical change in the way health care is delivered in the state. Connecticut is one of 16 states bidding for a $45 million federal grant to develop a model for the future of health care. 

The system Connecticut experts have come up with tries to widen access to care. It asks primary care providers to oversee all of a patient's care, and to cut down on duplicated treatments or unnecessary procedures. There will also be better links between health care providers and social services to provide more support for patients. 

Health care Advocate Vicki Veltri, who is overseeing the effort, told WNPR's Where We Live that after the effort to sign up the uninsured, this is the step that will make health care more affordable and available.

"We have to do something about the quality of health care we're delivering," Veltri said. "We have to do something about our burgeoning health care costs. We have to do something to make sure we're delivering care in a way that really ensures access to care, and just covering people doesn't do that. So we have to do something more than rolling out our exchange."

The plan would also incentivize doctors who cut the cost of care, allowing them to claim some of the savings they make.

That proposal has made some patient advocates uneasy. Ellen Andrews of the Connecticut Health Policy Project said she wants assurances that physicians won't save costs by cutting back on care that patients really need.

"We can now track that," Andrews said. "We can watch for it. We can see when it's happening. At the very least, if somebody is generating savings by denying needed care, instead of doing all those other wonderful things, they don't get to keep the savings. We think that's pretty simple, and straightforward, and makes a lot of common sense."

The state will hear early in 2014 whether it can go forward with its plan.