C T    A . C . A .    S T I C K E R    S H O C K    F O R    2 0 1 7 -
http://ctmirror.org/2016/10/28/as-aca-faces-new-challenges-fixes-not-assured/

"YOU CAN KEEP YOUR PLAN" AN OOPS MOMENT;  CT CHOICE IN HEALTH CARE GONENOPE.  HOUSE PASSES A.H.C.A. May 3, 2017...NYPOST article.
CT MIRROR, JUNE 2014 ON "OBSERVATION STATUS" IMPLICATION WHEN AT THE HOSPITAL - IF SENT TO A NURSING HOME TO RECUPERATE,
WHO'S SORRY NOW?
.  INDEED.


H E A L T H    C A R E   U . S . A .    N O W   

Contents:

NEWS:  

LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE - PUBLIC HEALTH;

CT at the fore price-fixing of generic drugs...lawsuit.

What might be the next step in sharing patient information:
  http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/connecticut_could_see_competing_health_information_exchanges/

Algae bloom destroyer...of the fish, too?  http://www.newstimes.com/local/article/Ultrasound-could-be-used-to-kill-blue-green-algae-10811857.php

FORUM ON OPIOIDS IN CONNECTICUT;  ELSEWHERE.

Medical examiner’s office on verge of losing accreditation Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Heat Index calculator;

SOYLENT GREEN

HEALTH CARE & CONNECTICUT HOSPITALS;  HEALTH INSURANCE

CT NEW COMMISSIONS:  63 member body for women, children and seniors...

CONTRIBUTING FACTORS

GLOBAL WARMING

GROUNDWATER POLLUTION

DISASTERS











LYME DISEASE WARNING
In time for the August 14th Primaries in both Parties - no joke - watch out for ticks and good instruction how to do so in this article.






SO SAD - WE'RE TALKING ABOUT SECOND LEAD ARTICLE
As a famous sports reporter used to say, let's go to the video tape...and they are still doing so.  Please see our initial report here.






HOWS THAT AGAIN?  What the...???
We note:  "A spokesman for Horizon disagrees with Lembo’s assessment and description of its drugs".

"Lembo said that, according to state claims data, one prescriber alone accounted for $1.5 million in prescriptions for Horizon products or 11.6 percent of total amount of Horizon products prescribed through the state plan.

“'My office will continue to work in partnership with other state officials to block unnecessary costs to the state plan and investigate troubling pharmaceutical trends,' Lembo said."

Story in full:  http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/lembo_seeks_to_block_use_of_expensive_specialty_drugs_12_6_2017/




FOLLOW UP ON P.H. COMMITTEE BELOW


https://ctmirror.org/2018/04/09/abuse-scandal-ct-lawmakers-push-reform-whiting/

https://ctmirror.org/2018/01/02/whiting-forensic-division-to-separate-from-connecticut-valley-hospital/




Most legislators sit on Committees for which they have a background.  Two doctors, a nurse or two...



NEWS COVERAGE: Not overblown - we watched the Public hearing live for more than three hours - and before that another hour (approx) or more of Forum that was the usual stuff...

COURANT REPORT:  http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-news-brother-of-whiting-abuse-victim-testifies-1113-story.html#nws=true
CTNEWSJUNKIE - MIDDLETOWN PRESS:  http://www.middletownpress.com/middletown/article/Brother-of-Connecticut-Valley-Hospital-patient-at-12354572.php



PUBLIC HEALTH COMMITTEE OF THE LEGISLATURE

Public Health Committee - Nov. 13, 2017

Morning forum and afternoon Public Hearing re: Whiting Forensic (Institute) of CT Valley Hospital scandal:



SEIU 1199 Union testifies. 
This is a big problem, based upon my personal experience in health care and unionizing efforts.  Question:  How do get rid of "bad apples" in unions?  Not so fast..


Shouldn't have been there
A very excellent piece of testimony by former "patient" who didn't belong there in the first place and was recommitted by public defender in a bureaucratic action.  Very painful to watch - evidence against lawyers.

At 4:46pm we are out of here...


NOT THE FIRST STUDY


THE DAY, SUNDAY, NOV. 26, 2017 futher report.  MORE RIVETING THAN "HUSH HUSH SWEET CHARLOTTE" 

We had watched the Public Health Committee live on CT-N.

Nothing is original.  Altho' perhaps not applicable here, other famous movies suggest familiar scenarios.

Whiting Forensic Institute was one of a few - Fairfield Hills, Norwich and Connecticut Valley Hospitals (Whiting Forensic is here) - prior to the closings of the first two mentioned.

"Forensic patients are primarily those judged not guilty of crimes by reason of insanity and committed to the hospitals by a criminal court" is how a 1989 NYTIMES article put it..

In The Day today is follow up from the public hearing.  And just so you know, CT-N covered this Nov. 13th gripping and gruesome event. 

Informational and then afternoon Public Hearing video of PUBLIC HEALTH COMMITTEE.

SO WHAT CAME BEFORE?






Mid-day "public hearing" on rate increases - who can afford to go and testify?
HEALTH INSURANCE RATE INCREASES:  Why is it escalating so fast?  And further more, write to Senator Hwang!!!

CT MIRROR coverage here:  https://ctmirror.org/2017/06/14/health-insurers-skewered-for-again-seeking-double-digit-rate-increases/






In Alaska:  http://www.adn.com/alaska-news/2016/09/01/4-4-earthquake-gives-southcentral-alaska-a-morning-jolt/









PERFORMANCE-ENHANCING PUBLICITY PRANK?
http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-news-stamford-opioids-spoon-sculpture-0623-story.html





              
Share the cost - like Robin Hood?
As in the political statement "I feel your pain."  



And then there is this:    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/iditarod-dog-doping-case-dallas-seavey-opioid-pain-reliever-tramadol/
And more:  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/24/sports/iditarod-doping-dallas-seavey.html


LATEST WESTON-RELATED STORY HERE


NATIONAL NEWS:  http://www.theday.com/nationworld/20170511/public-restrooms-become-ground-zero-in-opioid-epidemic

OPIOID DEATHS - CT BUDGET AFFECTED:  http://www.courant.com/politics/hc-budget-over-spending-20170410-story.html

AG Jepsen seeks help in battling opioid abuse
CT POST
By Bill Cummings
Published 1:01 pm, Sunday, October 22, 2017

HARTFORD — Attorney General George Jepsen is leading a bipartisan group of attorneys general in demanding health care companies that provide pharmacy benefit management services mitigate prescription opioid abuse...story in full:
http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/AG-Jepsen-seeks-help-in-battling-opioid-abuse-12297434.php

On the regulating opioid front...

Latest on "settled law"
When in doubt, litigate, settle?






2017 news: 
http://www.nhregister.com/health/20170319/connecticut-joins-states-clearing-the-way-to-refuse-opioid-prescriptions


Guess what?
  Connecticut lawmakers get contributions from opioid industry.
OPIOD FORUM IN WESTON TOWN HALL  - EVERY SEAT TAKEN, CHANNEL 12 THERE - THANK YOU JOHN SHABAN!


Welcome from Rep.John Shaban and his outline of how the evening would progress.  First everone on the panel had their story related to opioids to tell.

     
Weston H.S. S.R.O.;  Weston Youth Services director on the panel and contributes our stories.
  
            
First Selectmen from Easton (l) and Redding present (below next to Chief Troxell); U.S. Attorney's Office, WestCOG, regional social work services in action;  State Senators attend (it was literally. "SRO" as in standing room only)

        
Police Chiefs from Redding, Easton and Weston speak.  Getting hooked on opioids (pills left over from prescriptions legally obtained brought to "pill parties" - I think I heard someone say that)...
 

Standing Room Only - or did I mention that already?  I left early to attend a special Library Building Committee meeting.

R
 X

OUR RATHER BRIEF AND VERY SIMPLE RESEARCH:  http://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/prescription-drugs.html

"Recreational use of prescription drugs is a serious problem with teens and young adults."
This is the understatement of the year.  The link above is a really simple explanation of why kids raid their parents bathroom sink cabinet for excitement.




REPORT MARCH 22, 2017:  http://c-hit.org/2017/03/20/state-ranks-high-in-opioid-related-visits-to-hospitals/

And then there is Narcan, which is something EMT's must carry, we think...report on last Session action from article above:

"...The state has passed a number of laws intended to combat the opioid epidemic, including requiring first responders to carry Narcan, limiting initial opioid prescriptions to seven-day supplies in most cases, and requiring pharmacies to enter information about controlled substances into the electronic Connecticut Prescription Monitoring and Reporting System (CPMRS) by the next business day."

We note that Narcan will only work for up to 48 hours - and then addicted individual will crave more opioids.






Can a 'miracle shot' called Vivitrol break the prison-heroin cycle in Alaska?
Alaska News DISPATCH
Michelle Theriault Boots
4-15-17

Please read this story:  https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/2017/04/15/can-a-miracle-shot-called-vivitrol-break-the-prison-heroin-cycle-in-alaska/





We choose to include this as "health care"...along with no lifeguards, unclaimed bodies issue and others to come as budget cuts kick in.
Supreme Court strikes down Texas abortion clinic regulations
Hartford Courant
June 278, 12016

The Supreme Court struck down Texas' widely replicated regulation of abortion clinics Monday in the court's biggest abortion case in nearly a quarter century....
Story in full:  http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-supreme-court-texas-abortion-clinics-20160627-story.html









Remember "I feel your pain" remark by Mr. Empathy?  Did not apply to Mrs. we expect.

Massachusets move related eventually to topic below?

We ask what this is really all about...https://ctmirror.org/2017/11/24/massachusetts-grabs-spotlight-by-proposing-new-twist-on-medicaid-drug-coverage/






WE SAW IT THE OTHER YEAR...COMING SOON:  http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Film/SoylentGreen



Since the latest local election we note this:  http://www.nhregister.com/news/article/Agencies-seek-to-empower-people-to-make-12351137.php

And now in 2017 comes this question:  Is it ethical to euthenize Alzheimer's patients?

"Cure" for Alzheimer's?



MENTAL HEALTH INCREASES COSTS FOR ELDERLY.



MERGED INTO 63 MEMBER AGENCY
Long term services report online.  Mostly bureaucrats who are being relocated with the new bureaucracy (women, children and elderly merged).



MAPPING & FOCUS GROUP
Behavioral health conditions of aging.  By the way, she is retiring.  Senior Center Mapping.

 
Legislation CT AND U.S.
Nexr meeting in September.





      

WHOA!!!  POST-ELECTION
http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/ccm_pans_proposal_to_consolidate_health_districts_requests_more_study/

This just in:
GRANT - HALF-A-MILLION DOLLAR WILL GET YOUFIFTY-MILLION PETRI DISHES;  WHOA!!!  MAKE THAT 100-MILLION (EXTRA GRANT ANNOUNCED TUESDAY).


CONNECTICUT TESTING PROTOCOL 2016
Weston-Westport Health District warning on seasonal mosquito threat...also the agency to review subdivisions for Weston.





DEEP probes old, unpermitted landfill in Cheshire
By Luther Turmelle, New Haven Register
Posted: 05/22/16, 10:42 PM EDT | Updated: 4 hrs ago

CHESHIRE >> Investigators with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection are investigating the location of an unpermitted landfill that was started on a local farm during the 1960s and was never fully resolved...

”Questions regarding this dump site were repeatedly asked by residents at the public hearings, but were not addressed by the developer’s representatives. We do not believe that the (South Central Connecticut) Regional Water Authority, Chesprocott Health District or the Inland Wetland and Watercourses Commission were informed of the dump’s existence or the potentially toxic contents before approving this subdivision.”

...State environmental officials “would have concerns about any development that might result in result in the contamination of soil and groundwater in the surrounding area.”

“Given some of the material that was disposed of, there is some potential that could happen and that any contamination that exists might spread onto one or more of the building lots...”


Story in full:  http://www.nhregister.com/general-news/20160522/deep-probes-old-unpermitted-landfill-in-cheshire





DPH announces 1st case of Zika in Connecticut acquired in US
http://customwire.ap.org/dynamic/stories/C/CT_ZIKA_CASE_CONNECTICUT_CTOL-?SITE=CTNHR&SECTION=STATE&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2016-09-28-19-13-55



Weston FORUM news of 2 town (WWHD) project
http://www.thewestonforum.com/65633/task-force-forming-to-address-zika-virus-and-tickborne-diseases/

LATEST ON ZIKA FROM NYTIMES
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/health/what-is-zika-virus.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

CT MIRROR:
http://ctmirror.org/2016/03/18/ct-confirms-its-first-case-of-zika-virus/







Any potential problems here?

Legionella bacteria found in GHS cooling tower; no risk found
By Paul Schott, Greenwich TIME
Published 6:51 pm, Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Legionella bacteria were found in recent tests of the cooling tower at Greenwich High School, but students and staff did not face a health risk, according to school and health officials...story in full: 

http://www.greenwichtime.com/news/article/Legionella-bacteria-found-in-GHS-cooling-tower-6554616.php












More emergency
http://ctmirror.org/2016/03/16/malloy-orders-more-cuts-as-lawmakers-vow-to-close-deficit-by-april-1/

Emergency
http://ctmirror.org/2016/03/16/hospitals-say-state-puts-them-between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place/




Malloy Tries To Help 6 Hospitals, But Legislative Leaders Aren’t Impressed
CTNEWSJUNKIE
by Christine Stuart
Oct 9, 2015 3:21pm

...House Speaker Brendan Sharkey echoed his remarks.

“Simply reshuffling already overdue payments for the first quarter toward smaller hospitals is not an adequate resolution and amounts to randomly picking winners and losers,” Sharkey said. “Democrats will soon be recommending serious alternatives for the governor to consider, and it’s time for minority Republicans, who voted against the state budget but are now also opposing the governor’s cuts, to step up to the plate with some real ideas.”

Malloy, who has been beating back bipartisan criticism of the mid-year hospital cuts, repeated his previous statements on Thursday that hospital profits were in excess of $916.4 million in 2014...story in full: 
http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/malloy_tries_to_help_6_hospitals_but_lawmakers_arent_impressed/





Standoff Between Malloy And Hospitals Intensifies As Hartford HealthCare Calls Off A Merger Deal
Hartford Courant
Mara Lee
Oct. 5, 2015

The standoff between Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the state's hospitals intensified Monday as Hartford HealthCare backed away from a takeover of a troubled hospital in Putnam, blaming the governor's latest round of cuts...story in full: 
http://www.courant.com/business/hc-hartford-hospital-day-kimball-medicaid-cuts-20151005-story.html





Specialty drug prices threaten health care affordability
CT MIRROR
By: Arielle Levin Becker | September 29, 2015

Reining in health care costs for state employees sometimes feels like shoveling water from a flooded basement while the water is still pouring in, state Comptroller Kevin Lembo said...story in full at CT MIRROR - http://ctmirror.org/2015/09/29/specialty-drug-prices-threaten-health-care-affordability/



WHERE MONEY FITS IN - CHENA ADVISES ALL NOT TO GET SICK

http://ctmirror.org/2015/09/25/hospital-ceo-pay-red-herring-or-key-to-state-funding-debate/

Who knew?  CT MIRROR explains how high executive pay at not-for-profit hospitals equates with income redistribution.  We quote from CT MIRROR:

"...As hospital leaders warn of potential job and service reductions in response to state funding cuts, the six- and seven-figure pay packages of Connecticut hospital executives have emerged as a point of contention.
To some, the focus on CEO pay is a red herring meant to distract from years of underfunding Medicaid while increasing taxes on hospitals. Others see it as a way to point out misplaced priorities at nonprofit hospitals that rely heavily on government money, at a time when executive pay and income disparities have become a rallying cry in national politics..."








  

DE-CRIMINALIZATION OF POT AND DEMOCRAT STATE SENATOR SUGGESTS BRINGS IT IS BACK IN 2017...
http://www.nhregister.com/government-and-politics/20161026/new-havens-looney-connecticut-should-explore-legalizing-recreational-marijuana-school-regionalization




The movie "Soylent  Green" addressed this...

Oh, Canada department:  http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/15/world/americas/canadian-prime-minister-seeks-to-legalize-physician-assistedsuicide.html

Sustinet, solvent, soylent:  pretty close to State of CT motto...https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seal_of_Connecticut

Who knew CT old case an inspiration for future program to keep A.C.A. solvent?  http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/supreme_court_finds_records_of_arsenic_murderess_should_be_confidential/








An honest man, if not in step with desires of A.C.A. agency.

Latest on discussions in CT - earlier...








WHY NOT JUST MAKE 55 THE AGE FOR MEDICARE 55?


Déjà vu:  We asked expert (l) from Bridgeport Hospital.
She said it wouldn't be economically viable...she also said "Obamacare" was intended to fail - "we'd fix it later."

More recent news:  http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/connecticut_exchange_grapples_with_losing_brokers/

Recent news: http://www.ctpost.com/news/medical/article/In-nod-to-Sanders-Clinton-offers-new-health-care-8349618.php






Story in full here
Sweeping plan put forward to control rising health care costs
CT MIRROR
By: Kyle Constable | July 13, 2016

"...These meetings, he said, could be considered a pilot program for the benefits that could arise from additional collaboration and could serve as an alternative to a complete restructuring of the state’s agencies.  And most members seemed skeptical that restructuring the agencies would be the best approach..."





S T O R Y    O F    I N S U R A N C E    C O M P A N I E S '    M E R G E R...P U B L I C    H E A R I N G S    B E G I N    A U G U S T   4 TH...NEWS;
"WHAT WAIT" ON THE MARK:  http://jonathanpelto.com/2016/06/27/malloy-destroys-connecticuts-regional-hospitals-jepsen-democrats-fail-act/

INSURANCE ETHICS DEBATE?

What do you call 10,000 lawyers chained together at the bottom of the sea?

And then there is choice...

ConnectiCare millions in red during rate case
http://www.hartfordbusiness.com/article/20161107/PRINTEDITION/311039908/1002







FIRST REGIONAL INSTITUTIONS AND THEN MORE BAD NEWS DEPT.:
Hartford Courant:  http://www.courant.com/business/dan-haar/hc-haar-hospitals-in-trouble-20170628-story.html

------

WATERBURY:
For profit hospital an oxymoron?  Read more "Third Time A Charm...": 
http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/third_time_could_be_the_charm_for_waterbury_hospital_purchase/


RATES GOING UP, UP, UP
http://ctmirror.org/2016/06/06/major-health-insurers-seek-sharply-higher-rates-in-connecticut/

CONFLICT OF INTEREST?
http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/national_group_calls_for_connecticut_insurance_commissioner_to_step_aside/






OBAMACARE STRIKE ONE...

http://ctmirror.org/2016/03/01/u-s-supreme-court-deals-blow-to-ct-health-data-collection-effort/





CAUTION:  Grand Junction Colorado and Bridgeport, CT used as examples...and we refer you to the NYTIMES stroy for neat maps that supposedly show the variance from assumptions that low costs for government health care do not actually appear to parallel private health care costs.  306 "counties" used in study - "Bridgeport" is the Stamford-Bridgeport MSA, based upon carefully studying the NYTIMES graphic.


Read about Health Care costs and get a headache.

"The Price Ain't Right..." a link from from NYTIMES story:  http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/12/15/upshot/the-best-places-for-better-cheaper-health-care-arent-what-experts-thought.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news


The "Price" study:  http://www.healthcarepricingproject.org/sites/default/files/pricing_variation_manuscript_0.pdf




Remember, CT is the the poster child for A.C.A.
2,200 Connecticut Residents Could Lose Their Healthcare Subsidies
CTNEWSJUNKIE
by Christine Stuart | Dec 14, 2015 5:30am

An estimated 2,200 customers who purchase their insurance through Access Health CT will be losing their subsidy because they failed to file their 2014 federal taxes.

Access Health CEO James Wadleigh said last week that he received information from the Internal Revenue Service alerting him that 2,200 Connecticut customers have not filed their 2014 tax returns. It’s the first time state exchanges received this type of information...story in full:  http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/2200_connecticut_residents_could_lose_their_healthcare_subsidies/





ALTERNATIVES AND CHANGES AHEAD FOR A.C.A.?

Who's got it, how much does it cost, and who is going to pay for it down the road? 

CT Exchange guy now in charge of national exchange.  Which, by the way, the Supreme Court has spoken on, again.

Link to LWVCT Education Fund 2009 Fall Conference:  http://www.lwvweston.org/FALLCONF09healthcare.html





THE UNCOMPENSATED CARE NUMBERS 2009-2014 FISCAL YEARS (OCT - SEPT):
With the break-in of ACA in CT, which hospitals are more in demand? Since the data is massaged by more than once entity, we will take license to do our own analysis.  Which comes down to this:  "If you could go to Yale New Haven or Greenwich Hospital on someone else's dime, wouldn't you?" 


AS THE SCREWS TIGHTEN - FIVE YEARS IN
Latest data drop, FWIW, from CT MIRROR:  http://ctmirror.org/2015/09/02/obamacare-and-hospital-finances-in-nine-charts/






A solution "progressive" in nature?
Study Finds $15 Minimum Wage Isn’t Enough in Connecticut
CTNEWSJUNKIE
by Elizabeth Regan | Oct 15, 2015 5:30am

A progressive advocacy group released a report Tuesday that said a $15 minimum wage isn’t sufficient in a state where adult employees need to make $19.03 per hour to cover basic needs...story in full:  http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/study_finds_15_minimum_wage_isnt_enough_in_connecticut/

Another study:  http://cahs.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/issueBriefCT6.pdf






HEALTH CARE INCLUDES BASIC IMPROVEMENTS

Composting toilet on Whidbey Island;WA.  We think one is still in use also at Bisceglie Park in Weston, CT. and we know for sure it was used in some houses built in Weston in the early '80's or late ''70's.

In Alaska, rural living includes outhouses as well as other methods of sewage disposal:  http://www.adn.com/article/20150907/new-sanitation-system-tested-arctic-village-kivalina










Scientists discover another giant ancient virus in Arctic permafrost
Anchorage Daily News
Yereth Rosen
September 10, 2015

Scientists have found a previously unknown giant virus in the permafrost of Siberia, a discovery they say is worrying at a time when such frozen soils are rapidly thawing.

The newly discovered virus is called Mollivirus sibericum -- meaning “soft virus from Siberia” -- and was found in 30,000-year-old permafrost in Russia’s Chukotka region. It is described in a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It is the fourth ancient giant virus discovered since 2003, one of which was discovered by the same team in the same Chukotka permafrost.

“The fact that two different viruses could be easily revived from prehistoric permafrost should be of concern in a context of global warming,” says the study by the team of mostly French scientists...story in full:  http://www.adn.com/article/20150909/scientists-discover-another-giant-ancient-virus-arctic-permafrost