Moment Of Silence To Honor Sandy Hook Elementary

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy is calling for a moment of silence tomorrow morning, December 21, 2012 at 9:30a.m. to honor those lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday. Malloy sent a letter to every governor in the United States to consider joining Connecticut during this time of reflection and mourning.

“Let us all come together collectively to mourn the loss of far too many promising lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School,” said Malloy. “Though we will never know the full measure of sorrow experienced by these families, we can let them know that we stand with them during this difficult time.”

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Tiptastic Tuesday: Coping With Unimaginable Loss

HMS Healthcare Management Solutions offers our deepest sympathies to all of those impacted by the horrific events that unfolded at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut last Friday.  The grief is unimaginable.  In many ways, we are Newtown: parents, siblings, friends, neighbors, children, grandchildren and colleagues. Below are some tips on dealing with the grief of this senseless occurrence.

  • Talk: Expressing grief helps the healing process.  Seek friends and family who will listen without judgement.
  • Feel: Experiencing a variety of emotions is natural when working through grief. As strange as many of them feel, they are normal and healthy.
  • Listen: Loss and sadness can lead to feelings of fatigue.  Respect and listen to your body as well as your mind.
  • Support: Find a support system of caring friends and family to provide the understanding you need.
  • Search: Some questions have answers.  Others do not.  But healing begins when we pose the questions, not in the answer.
  • Time: Grief is a process, not an event.  Be patient and allow yourself time to heal.  The death of a loved one changes your life forever.
  • Never Forget: Memories provide a lasting legacy after someone passes.  Treasure and share them often.

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Obama To Newtown: You Are Not Alone

President Barack Obama traveled to Newtown on Sunday to meet with families of the victims in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and to thank first responders.

Newtown, you are not alone,” the president said. “As these difficult days have unfolded, you have also inspired us with stories of strength and resolve and sacrifice.”

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Connecticut Docs Form Partnership

A group of Connecticut physicians in the southwestern corner of the state have formed a new doctor’s organization with St. Vincent’s Medical Center.

The new physician hospital organization, called St. Vincent’s Health Partners (SVHP), is an independent entity that has a 50/50 ownership split between the physicians and the hospital.

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Deadline Set For State Healthcare Exchange Proposals

Earlier this week, the Obama administration announcing a November 16 deadline for state governments to submit proposals showing how they intend to operate health insurance exchanges in 2014.

The Department for Health and Human Services (HHS) released a detailed blueprint of the legal and operational requirements states must meet in their proposals if they expect to win federal approval to begin operating regulated insurance markets, in whole or in part, by January 1, 2014, when the 2010 law is scheduled to come into full force.  The administration also released guidelines for assisting states that could be unable to offer full exchange services by 2014 and for establishing federal exchanges in states that are unwilling to participate.

The exchanges are part of the Affordable Care Act sweeping package of federal health care reform passed last year. Earlier this month, Connecticut’s Governor Dannel Malloy signed legislation that lays out the structure for Connecticut’s exchange. The state has recently applied for about $6 million in grant money to help set up its exchange which would be added to the $1 million in federal money already received to aid in planning its exchange.

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Controversy Surrounds Change To Connecticut Malpractice Law

State lawmakers are moving ahead with legislation they say will fix a problem with Connecticut’s medical malpractice law, despite opposition from the medical industry.

A 2005 law aimed at preventing frivolous cases requires people who want to sue health care providers to get an opinion from a “similar” provider supporting their allegations before filing their lawsuits. A bill passed by the Judiciary Committee would increase the kinds of providers who could write such opinions.

The bill is prompted by unforeseen court fights over the qualifications of opinion writers that have resulted in some lawsuits being dismissed. Doctors, hospital officials and industry groups say the bill would remove the 2005 protection and allow lawsuits based on bad opinions from providers with different credentials. The legislation awaits action by the Senate.

Some Health Insurers Paying Patients

In recent years, insurers have tried to cajole consumers into using less-expensive health-care providers by promising lower co-payments and other cost-sharing breaks for members who select those doctors and hospitals.

Lately, they’re trying an even more direct approach: cash rewards.

Some Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield members in New Hampshire, Connecticut and Indiana can receive $50 to $200 if they get a diagnostic test or elective procedure at a less expensive facility than the one their doctor recommended. The offer covers nearly 40 services, from standard radiology tests such as mammograms and MRIs to such surgical procedures as hip and knee replacements, hernia repair, bariatric surgery and tonsillectomies.

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