Strike For For-Profit Hospitals

HMS healthcare Management SolutionsGovernor Malloy vetoed a bill that would have granted permission for a Tennessee for-profit company (Vanguard) to acquire Waterbury hospital. Vanguard would take control of Waterbury Hospital by forming a joint venture with the hospital in which Vanguard would have an 80 percent stake. Health care unions opposed the acquisition in fear of for-profit tactics that may have included terminating nurses long-standing pensions in Waterbury.  The measure warrants an extensive revision of for-profit hospital policy in Connecticut.  Currently, Sharon Hospital is the only for-profit operating in Connecticut.

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Malloy’s Budget Proposal Includes Healthcare Cuts

HMS healthcare Management SolutionsDetails of Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s budget proposal feature cuts to Medicaid coverage for thousands of poor parents, a reduction in hospital payments and social service cutbacks. Below are some of the highlights impacting healthcare.

Hospitals: Another proposal reduces the money Connecticut hospitals will receive for treating uninsured patients. In the first year of the budget, the funding would be cut in half, and in the second year, it would be eliminated entirely.

HUSKY: Beginning January 1, 2014, for certain poor parents will lose coverage under the HUSKY plan, but would be eligible for federal subsidies to buy health insurance through the newly created health insurance exchange.

Medicaid: Though the state will be cutting Medicaid coverage to some, it will expand Medicaid to thousands of poor adults as part of health reform. The federal government will pay the state back for the entire cost.

Social Services: Though the budget fully supports caseload growth for services provided by the departments of Developmental Services, Children and Families, Mental Health & Addiction Services as well as the Department of Social Services, it also continues millions of dollars in cutbacks to those departments made late last year to address a budget deficit.

Governor Malloy To Release Budget Later Today

Later today, Governor Dannel Malloy will unveil the second two-year budget of his administration at a joint session of the General Assembly.

The two-year budget, expected to be around $40 billion, contains numerous cuts, with the largest coming to the Department of Social Services (DSS). Reductions include the amount of funding hospitals use to cover the cost of uninsured patients slated to be insured under federal health care reform by 2016.

Stay tuned to the HMS Healthcare Management Solutions blog for more information when it’s released later this afternoon.

CT Aims To Rebalance Long Term Care Services

Connecticut will collect as much as $72.8 million in federal funding to expand home care services for seniors and adults with disabilities. The initiative is part of Governor Malloy’s strategic plan to rebalance the state’s long-term care services by moving residents out of more costly institutional care into home care settings.

“The overriding goal is to support personal choice, and it’s a happy coincidence that when that choice can involve staying in ones home longer. We can serve more people with the dollars if we do this right,” said Malloy.

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Executive Orders Extend Deadlines For Voter Registration, Tax Declarations

HMS Healthcare Management SolutionsYesterday afternoon, Governor Dannel Malloy signed four executive orders designed to assist Connecticut’s recovery from Storm Sandy including an extension to voter registration deadlines and tax declarations.

  • Executive Order 21: Extends the in-person voter registration deadline in Connecticut to Thursday, November 1, at 8 p.m.
  • Executive Order 22: Allows properly credentialed out-of-state telecommunications electrical workers to perform work in the state that is normally performed only by Connecticut licensed Public Service Technicians.
  • Executive Order 23: Extends the deadline for employers to file unemployment tax filings and payments. Documents that normally would have to be filed by Thursday, November 1, may be filed by Thursday, November 15.
  • Executive Order 24: Extends the personal property tax declaration filed by businesses in Connecticut from Thursday, November 1, to Thursday, November 15.
  • Executive Order 25: Extends the deadline to file certain property tax exemption applications listed in Section 12-81 of the General Statutes. Property tax exemptions normally filed by Thursday, November 1, may be filed by Thursday, November 15.

Hurricane Sandy Heads North, Pre-Landfall Emergency Declared In Connecticut

Connecticut’s shoreline cities and towns are bracing for severe flooding today as Hurricane Sandy hits Long Island Sound.

Mandatory evacuations are in place for many shoreline towns. Four high tide cycles are expected during the storm, sending water well past the flooding experienced last year during Hurricane Irene. Though many may not see much in the way of rain, high winds could knock out power across the state.

President Obama approved Governor Dannel Malloy’s request to declare a pre-landfall emergency in Connecticut, which means the state can request federal funding before Sandy begins her descent.

Click here for up to date information on Hurricane Sandy preparedness and response.

Medicaid Spending Could Break CT’s Budget

Earlier this week, Connecticut Comptroller Kevin Lembo certified a nearly $27 million deficit.  The biggest budget-breaking number appears to come from the state’s increasing enrollment in Medicaid.

In a letter to Governor Dannel P. Malloy, Lembo revealed the medicaid account continues to experience strong caseload growth.  Medicaid added more than 1,700 additional clients in the month of August alone — a one-month increase of 0.7% and well above budget expectations.

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