Increasing Access to Care

ACCESS TO CARE

Hartford HealthCare To Help Connecticut College Deal With Virus Risks. “Connecticut College has formed a partnership with Hartford HealthCare that will, among other things, try to mitigate the risks associated with COVID-19 as students return to campus next month.  The expansion of the medical group’s Campus Care program will bolster on-campus medical staffing and provide direct access to Hartford HealthCare’s sizable medical network … Through the Hartford HealthCare network, students will have access to 1,000 physicians and specialists with expanded services, increased hours and an integrated medical records system.” (Greg Smith, “Hartford HealthCare To Help Connecticut College Deal With Virus Risks,” The Day, 7/8/20)

New Initiative – HealthCare Providers First – Addresses PTSD, Other Issues Facing Frontline Workers. “’This is HealthCare Providers First (HPF), an initiative started by Morgan and other health care workers to address the mental health issues that can coincide with a life spent on the frontlines.  HPF is a confidential, free support line for any health care provider in Connecticut negatively impacted or navigating stressors related to COVID-19.” (Kevin Zimmerman, “New Initiative – Healthcare Providers First – Addresses PTSD, Other Issues Facing Frontline Workers,” Westfair Communications, 7/5/20)

State Of Connecticut Selects Intrado’s Health Advocate To Enhance Employees’ Healthcare Experience And Support Preferred Provider Network. “Intrado’s Health Advocate, a leading provider of health advocacy, navigation and integrated benefits programs, announced today that it will provide health advocacy and navigation services to the State of Connecticut’s more than 60,000 employees covered under the state’s benefits program, in addition to affiliate partners across the state … Health Advocate’s team of experienced Personal Health Advocates will support employees and their family members enrolled in the State of Connecticut’s newly introduced preferred provider network, helping to identify providers and facilities in the network, schedule appointments, and provide quality and cost information.” (Intrado, “State Of Connecticut Selects Intrado’s Health Advocate To Enhance Employees’ Healthcare Experience And Support Preferred Provider Network,” Press Release, 6/23/20)

MOCingbird Platform Expands Access To Connecticut Clinicians. “MOCingbird is one site with one purpose – to manage ongoing education requirements for healthcare providers.  The system allows doctors or administrators to track and store MOCs, CMEs and state licenses in its secure vault, ensuring they stay up-to-date and compliant.  MOCingbird will soon be updated with requirements specific to Connecticut clinicians.” (MOCingbird, “MOCingbird Platform Expands Access To Connecticut Clinicians,” Press Release, 6/17/20)

Hartford HealthCare’s Mobile Testing Program Reaches Out To Community. “Hartford HealthCare introduced its mobile testing program in April and now operates three of the units in the state, including the Backus Hospital-owned vehicle that’s stationed most of the week at Windham Hospital and in Plainfield … The unit, which sends samples to Quest Diagnostic laboratories in Massachusetts and to Jackson Labs in Connecticut, has done about 600 tests in its first two weeks of operation, less than 5% of which have been positive, Tessier said. It’s prepared to do up to 100 tests a day.” (Brian Hallenbeck, “Hartford HealthCare’s Mobile Testing Program Reaches Out To Community,” The Day, 6/10/20)

L&M Hospital Receives Federal Grant For Telemedicine Carts To Treat, Screen COVID-19 Patients. “These days telehealth technology is used for virtual doctor visits. Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in New London is using the tool for screening and treating Covid-19 patients … This technology saves time and saves on PPE … It may also help save lives … A lifesaver during this pandemic doctors say and beyond.” (Tina Detelj, “L&M Hospital Receives Federal Grant For Telemedicine Carts To Treat, Screen COVID-19 Patients,” WTNH ABC, 5/29/20)

Connecticut Governor Expands Health Care Workforce, Access To Telehealth Services And Issues Other Important Health Care Updates In New Executive Orders. “Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont recently issued four new executive orders to address the COVID-19 state of emergency (Executive Orders 7CC – 7FF) that contain provisions relevant to health care providers and facilities in the state.  Among other things, the Executive Orders (i) expand access to telehealth services, (ii) expand the available health care workforce, (iii) increase current reporting requirements for long-term care facilities, (iv) allow the Commissioner of the Department of Social Services (DSS) to scale back certain Medicaid program requirements, and (v) update requirements related to out-of-network emergency billing.” (Conor O. Duffy & Peter H. Struzzi, “Connecticut Governor Expands Health Care Workforce, Access To Telehealth Services And Issues Other Important Health Care Updates In New Executive Orders,” National Law Review, 4/29/20)

The Latest Order By Gov. Ned Lamont Addresses Several Health Care Related-Issues. “‘Additions to the definition of telehealth provider: Modifies state statutes to add any licensed dentist, behavioral analyst, genetic counselor, music therapist, art therapist, and veterinarian to the definition of telehealth provider.  Flexibility for Medicaid-enrolled providers and in-network providers for commercial fully insured health insurance to perform telehealth through additional methods: Modifies Section 5 of Executive Order No. 7G regarding the delivery of telehealth with an updated definition and requirements for telehealth.’” (Brian McCready, “Lamont Issues 31st Executive Order Since Coronavirus Outbreak,” Patch, 4/23/20)

Access Health Added 4,425 New Customers In COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period. “…Connecticut’s Affordable Care Act health insurance exchange has enrolled 4,425 new customers, many of whom were uninsured or have lost their jobs in the economic shutdown.  Access Health CT is still accepting new enrollments through Friday.” (Matt Pilon, “Access Health Adds 4,425 New Customers In COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period,” Hartford Business, 4/16/20) 

Health Care Providers Added Another Field Hospital At Danbury Hospital. “Lamont continued to say that health care providers added another field hospital at Danbury Hospital Wednesday and there is still a lot of capacity at other hospitals.  The governor added that he was impressed with people coming forward and helping, including a company that gave out free hand sanitizer.” (Ben Goldman, “FOX61’s Ben Goldman Addresses Deferred Health Insurance Premiums, Quarantine Into CT With Lamont,” WTIC FOX, 3/25/20)

Connecticut Launches COVID-19-Only Nursing Homes. “Connecticut is among a handful of states to open COVID-19-only facilities that provide an environment specially designed to handle infected patients – and help prevent outbreaks at other nursing homes …The new centers are intended to be the first stop for nursing home residents who are released from the hospital after having been treated for COVID-19. The facilities can also provide a critical service to seniors who are hospitalized with the virus and need rehab after their stints or for COVID-19 patients in nursing homes that are unable to safely segregate infected residents.” (Conor Ferguson, Cynthia McFadden & Rich Schapiro, “Connecticut Launches Bold New Approach To Virus Crisis: COVID-19-Only Nursing Homes,” NBC News, 5/11/20)

Connecticut Hospitals Went Into Overdrive To Prepare For COVID-19. “Hospitals in Connecticut have collaborated on a level not seen in generations in order to fight COVID-19.  They built more than enough hospital beds to prepare for the worst case scenario. Connecticut began to work with its largest health systems on day one of the state’s emergency declaration back in March.” (J.D. Allen, Brianne Ledda, Fatou Sangare & Frank Gargano, “Connecticut Hospitals Went Into Overdrive To Prepare For COVID-19,” WSHU, 4/29/20)

Telemedicine Is A Boon For Addiction Recovery Services During Coronavirus. “The health care industry is adapting to the new reality brought on by the spread of coronavirus.  For outpatient mental health and substance use disorder treatment, almost everything has gone virtual.  That’s a good thing, and after the current crisis wanes, we need to ensure that the gains we’ve made in accessibility are kept in place.” (Noah Morgenstein, “Telemedicine Is A Boon For Addiction Recovery Services During Coronavirus,” Hartford Courant, 4/29/20)

CT Hospitals Are Managing The Coronavirus Crisis Without Needing Extra Space. “A combination of factors have helped to prevent most Connecticut hospitals from reaching capacity or needing auxiliary space even at the height of the coronavirus crisis.  But hospital officials said they are prepared if the situation changes – particularly if a second wave hits in the fall.” (Amanda Cuda, “CT Hospitals Manage Coronavirus Crisis Without Needing Extra Space,” CT Post, 4/25/20)

Telemedicine Is Expanding Access To Health Care – Don’t Take It Away. “The thought of assessing pregnant patients remotely seemed unimaginable just six weeks ago.  However, we are reimagining how to deliver care on a massive scale via telemedicine.  Significant technological and insurance barriers to the widespread implementation of telemedicine are now being overcome.  We remain available to our patients and are delivering essential care safely while enabling our patients to practice social distancing.” (Sangini Sheth & Shefali Pathy, “Telemedicine Is Expanding Access To Health Care – Don’t Take It Away,” Hartford Courant, 4/25/20)

Yale New Haven Health Employees To Receive COVID-19 Recognition Award. “’This COVID-19 Recognition Award reflects our philosophy to reward exemplary performance and acknowledges that by working together and in partnership across the Health System, our System staff are doing a remarkable job addressing the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic,’ said hospital officials in a statement.” (Staff, “Yale New Haven Health Employees To Receive COVID-19 Recognition Award,” WVIT NBC, 4/22/20)

Governor Lamont Has Signed An Executive Order Creating Nursing Home Recovery Centers. “Governor Ned Lamont signed an executive order on Saturday establishing COVID-19 recovery centers in some nursing homes, a move that creates places for residents who’ve been discharged from the hospital to continue to recover.  Lamont announced COVID-19 recovery centers at Sharon Health Care Center in Sharon and at Northbridge Healthcare Center in Bridgeport.  A third is in the works at Torrington Health and Rehabilitation Center.” (Ryan Lindsay, “Lamont Signs Order Creating Nursing Home Recovery Centers,” CT Mirror, 4/11/20)

New State Plan For Nursing Home Tests, Isolation Facilities Could Have Big Impact On COVID-19 Spread. “The state’s plan to make a rapid new COVID-19 test available and to provide four sites designated to sick nursing home residents is a ‘game changer’ that will save lives, a top health care official said Thursday.  Speedier tests for nursing home residents sent to hospitals who are ready to return will free up badly needed hospital beds, said Matthew Barrett, president and CEO of the Connecticut Association of Health Care Facilities.” (Jenna Carlesso, Keith M. Phaneuf & Gregory B. Hladky, “New State Plan For Nursing Home Tests, Isolation Facilities Could Have Big Impact On COVID-19 Spread,” CT Mirror, 4/9/20)

Some HRSA Health Centers Are Offering Health Care And Coronavirus Testing Referrals To People Without Insurance. “The Health Resources and Services Administration is a federal agency that runs a nationwide network of clinics, called health centers, that serve vulnerable populations such as the homeless, migrant agricultural workers, residents of public housing and veterans as well as uninsured people.” (Rich Kirby, “Coronavirus: Health Care For Uninsured In Milford,” Patch, 4/6/20)

CT Community Health Centers Shift To Telemedicine. “Community health centers that provide medical care to 400,000 low-income patients throughout the state are adapting to the coronavirus pandemic by shifting to telemedicine and reconfiguring the way the staff offers in-person health services.” (Lisa Backus, “CT Community Health Centers Shift To Telemedicine; Face Deep Losses,” New Haven Register, 4/2/20)