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Opinion: Current model of health care delivery is unsustainable

Evelyn Barum
Evelyn Barum

Evelyn Barnum, is the chief executive officer of the Community Health Center Association of Connecticut, which represents 13 FQHCs.

As noted in the recent editorial by Ellen Andrews, discussions are taking place in Hartford about how people receive health care and how health care providers should be paid. Requiring people across the country to have health insurance was an important step in changing how Americans think about health care, but our country still falls behind others in life expectancy, incidence of chronic diseases and overall quality of life.

We have the most expensive health care system in the world, but we are not getting what we pay for. So, there is little disagreement that a large scale effort is needed to reform the system –to (1) control costs, while improving (2) the patient experience and (3) our “population health.” One of the ways Connecticut can meet this “Triple Aim” is by investing additional resources in federally-qualified health centers (“FQHCs,” also called “community health centers”).

A federal grant called State Innovation Model (SIM) can provide funding for this investment as one of its many related initiatives all aimed at improving the health of Connecticut residents.

Ms. Andrews raised some points of disagreement with the current SIM proposal, one piece of which aims to transform health care for about 200,000 HUSKY patients (about a quarter of the total HUSKY population). It will also change how providers are paid, including the FQHCs, which care for 30 percent of all HUSKY enrollees.

See the complete story at CT News Junkie.

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