Public Health Committee
JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT
AN ACT CONCERNING A STUDY TO IDENTIFY WAYS FOR STATE GOVERNMENT TO PARTNER WITH HOSPITALS.
Disclaimer: The following JOINT FAVORABLE Report is prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for purposes of information, summarization and explanation and does not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose.
SPONSORS OF BILL:
Public Health Committee, the Department of Public Health, and the State of Connecticut Insurance Department
REASONS FOR BILL:
To require a study to identify ways for state government to partner with hospitals to enhance access to and affordability of health care and help meet hospitals' workforce and economic needs.
RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:
The State of Connecticut Insurance Department: The Insurance Department appreciates the intent of the HB 5296 but it does not currently have the resources available to conduct such a study. The Department offers expertise to the General Assembly insurance issues but does not have the expertise or the jurisdiction to provide feedback on workplace development or economic needs.
Two key components of health insurance plans are enhancing access and affordability. Current law does not restrict insurance carriers from creating innovative and tiered plans to appeal to consumers with lower-cost options. The Insurance Department's mission is consumer protection and providing a greater availability of products is an important part of that mission.
Representative Joe Aresimowicz, Speaker of the House, Connecticut General Assembly: Speaker Aresimowicz supports HB 5296 as it is intended to continue the positive conversations held between legislators and hospital administrations. Hospitals are the cornerstones of the healthcare network and are some of the largest employers in Connecticut. Hospitals have brought forward many solutions including training workers to meet demands, diverting frequent emergency room visits to more appropriate, community-based healthcare providers, offering training for healthcare workforce and to ensure our regulatory agencies work with their healthcare industry they regulate.
Senator Martin M. Looney, Senate President, Connecticut General Assembly: Senator Looney strongly supports HB 5296 and also requests that the committee draw attention to the CHEFA report, completed in association with PA 15-146, regarding ways Connecticut could assist community hospitals.
NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:
James E. Shmerling, President and CEO, Connecticut Children's Medical Center: James E. Shmerling submits this testimony in support of HB5296. Connecticut Children's Medical Center requires a strong partnership with State leaders to continue advancing program models in health management. Connecticut Children's Medical Center is currently pursuing value-based reimbursement strategies, in order to provide more cost-effective and holistic treatments to patients, and seeks partnership with State leaders to continue formulating strategies.
Connecticut Hospital Association: The Connecticut Hospital Association [CHA] currently supports HB5296; however, CHA is seeking an amendment to the bill with the addition of the Office of Health Strategy [OHS], CHA, and other hospital representation in the study. OHS's mission is to “implement comprehensive, data driven strategies that promote equal access to high quality health are control costs and ensure better health for the people of Connecticut” and they will be a necessary entity for this study.
NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:
Reported by: Anne Gallagher