The State of Healthcare Reform in Connecticut

Posted on August 17, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

As the Affordable Care Act (ACA) gets rolled out over the next few years (barring any Republican-led repeals), many states are involved in taking steps of their own to make the healthcare system work better. Our own state of Connecticut is one of them.

The new Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Public Health, Jeannette DeJesus, seems up for the job. The May 30 article in the Hartford Business Journal  explains DeJesus’ viewpoints on this complex issue. In short, DeJesus has a good grasp on what needs to be done.

Virtually all of my colleagues in the industry believe, like I do, that healthcare reform is long overdue.  DeJesus’ approach will not just push for more efficient healthcare systems, but also  make CT providers (hospitals and physicians) change their delivery of services and how consumers view their own health. This is music to my ears. While the federal government is providing extra funding for new models of care like Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and patient medical homes, individual consumers of healthcare (as in, all of us) should be willing to accept some changes and also be advocates for changes that many providers have lost sight of.

I have a strong bias for “fixing” the smaller things in our healthcare system, while the big issues are happening too. Some changes just don’t need expensive new IT systems or a big steering committee to get things done. I support DeJesus in her efforts to make meaningful changes right here in Connecticut. Real, meaningful changes are positive and impact patients in a direct way.

It’s a long road, but she seems to be the right person to lead the effort and bring us right along for the ride.

Stay tuned for my next blog: “HC Reform – Top Down and Bottom Up.”

Kirk Kamien is a Director in KPMG’s Northeast Healthcare Advisory practice. He works with hospitals and other healthcare providers to assist them in navigating payment issues, addressing reimbursement and operations improvement issues, as well as understanding the new Affordable Care Act (ACA). He has been both a hospital CFO and spent time as an independent consultant.

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