DPH Releases 2016 Supplemental Health Care Facilities and Services Plan, Launches Hospital Quality & Utilization Web Tool for Consumers
Based on US Census Bureau data, Connecticut residents’ perception of their health status appears to be improving, according to the Department of Public Health’s (DPH) Office of Health Care Access (OHCA) Supplemental Statewide Healthcare Facilities and Services Plan, released today. According to the report, the proportion of Connecticut’s population self-reporting poor health status has declined. Additionally, the Affordable Care Act’s insurance mandate has reduced Connecticut’s uninsured rate to 8.7% in 2015. This rate was lower than the overall national rate of 10.8%.
The report also found that, with the exception of the elderly, Connecticut has relatively low proportions of vulnerable populations compared to the nation overall. While all vulnerable populations have been growing since 2010, racial/ethnic minority populations and individuals living below the poverty level have increased at a faster rate in Connecticut than nationally. These demographic shifts within Connecticut suggest vulnerable populations may be increasing as a proportion of the total population and thus healthcare access and health equity will continue to be an important focus.
“The good news in this report is that our numbers of uninsured residents are decreasing, so more Connecticut residents are likely to get the healthcare they need. However, our growing elderly and other vulnerable populations will require increased cooperation and collaboration between healthcare providers, hospitals, public health officials and policy makers to ensure that our most vulnerable residents have equal access to the healthcare services they need,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. Raul Pino.
The Supplement discusses the changes in Connecticut’s health care environment since the implementation of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It provides an updated overview of health insurance coverage expansion and recent Certificate of Need trends. It also identifies key issues and describes current initiatives addressing prevention, reducing health inequities, improving access to primary care and enhancing care coordination. The Supplemental Statewide Healthcare Facilities and Services Plan can be accessed here.
DPH today also launched a web application that enables Connecticut residents and policymakers to compare and track quality, outcomes, utilization and cost of in-state hospital care. The application, known as MONAHRQ, also provides information on quality of care at Medicaid and Medicare certified nursing homes (from Nursing Home Compare) and by physicians (from Physician Compare) in Connecticut.
The application was originally developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to help with hospital quality improvement and reporting to the public. The application utilizes local hospital discharge data and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services healthcare provider and consumer survey data.
The state’s version, Connecticut Hospital Quality and Utilization application, allows consumers to compare:
- : based on quality of services, patient safety, infections and death rates, volumes, charges, costs, length of stay and savings related to potentially avoidable hospital stays;
- : based on quality of care, adequacy of staffing and penalties for deficiencies imposed at Medicaid and Medicare certified facilities;
- : enrolled in Medicare for all specialties, their location in the state, whether or not they are accepting new patients.