Connecticut: Proposal to Implement Cost Containment Strategies Considered by State Health Care Cabinet

A sweeping proposal presented to Connecticut's Health Care Cabinet by a State-hired consulting firm recommends six cost containment strategies, including implementation of risk-based contracts with consumer care organizations and pursuing and a Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program. The report also recommends establishing a statewide health information exchange to enable more sophisticated data analysis, support for which would be provided through the DSRIP program. The Health Care Cabinet was required under 2015 legislation to study healthcare cost containment models in other states and report back findings and recommendations to the Legislature by December 1, 2016. Health Care Cabinet members plan to finalize their recommendations by September and approve a final report by November.

Montana: Uninsurance Rate Cut in Half Since 2015

The percent of Montanans without health insurance fell from 15% to 7.4% over the past year, which State officials credit to the State’s Medicaid expansion and the availability of coverage through HealthCare.gov. The State recentlyannounced that more than 47,000 individuals have enrolled in coverage through the expanded Medicaid program, far surpassing Governor Steve Bullock's (D) initial enrollment estimate of up to 26,000 individuals by June 2016. According to a State Health Coverage Report, approximately 76,000 individuals remain uninsured.

Pennsylvania: State Receives $23 Million to Combat Opioid Crisis

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) received $15 million in State funding and $5 million in federal matching funds to open 20 Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) Centers of Excellence, which will coordinate Medicaid patients' care during their treatment. The Centers will target the State’s approximately 4,500 residents currently unable to access treatment. Additionally, the Department received a $3 million federal grant to educate and double the number of primary care physicians able to provide OUD treatment in rural areas. Approximately 3,400 Pennsylvanians died of drug overdoses in 2015, a 23% increase from 2014. Opioids were detected in more than 80% of the deaths.