An Introduction to Connecticut’s Office of Health Strategy

February 2018

June Special Session PA 17-2, established a new Office of Health Strategy, effective January 1, 2018.

The mission of Connecticut’s Office of Health Strategy is to implement comprehensive, data driven strategies that promote equal access to high quality health care, control costs and ensure better health for the people of Connecticut.

OHS Fact Sheet
Download a copy of the OHS Fact Sheet

The Best Ideas For Connecticut

Connecticut needs clear vision to help the residents of our state secure the care they need in the complex and rapidly-changing world of health care delivery and payment. We need to make the best use of information and data from many sources so that we can find models that work and test them to make sure they support better health for our people and contain costs. And we need to break down barriers and transform the ways in which we work together so that government, health care providers, payers and consumers can drive the best ideas for Connecticut.

Existing State Resources Used In New Ways

The Office of Health Strategy was created by combining existing state projects and personnel: the Chief Health Policy Advisor from the Lt. Governor’s office; the State Innovation Model (SIM) Project Management Office; the Health Information Technology Office; the Office of Health Care Access; and the All Payers Claims Database.

By combining experts, data and goals, the new OHS will provide integrated, comprehensive leadership to improve health care systems and health in Connecticut. 

Working Together To Find The Best Solutions

Input and guidance from all sectors is a key ingredient to the success of the Office of Health Strategy. The Executive Director will continue to convene and work closely with the Healthcare Cabinet whose members represent state leaders, providers, consumers, payers and policy experts. The State Innovation Model Steering Committee and its working groups, and the Statewide Health Information Technology Advisory Council will continue to meet to drive the best solutions to improve health and healthcare in our state.

What The Office Of Health Strategy Does

The OHS develops health policy that improves health outcomes and limits health care cost growth across all sectors, whether private or public, including hospitals, physicians and clinical services and prescription drugs. Creation of this office brings together critical data sets and health information exchange efforts and allows for collaboration with many stakeholders, including state agency partners. Working  with comprehensive data and experts from inside and outside government, OHS will develop and support state-led multi-payer healthcare payment and service delivery reforms.

The Office of Health Strategy will include three teams, working together:


OHS is Health Data and Analysis, Health Innovation Strategy and Health Systems Planning 


Health Data and Analysis
  • Create and administer a state Health Information Exchange (HIE) to facilitate coordination across care settings, reduce costs associated with preventable readmissions, duplicative testing and medical errors, and provide patient access to personal medical records.
  • Establish and administer the Core Data Analytics Solution (CDAS) to enable in-depth data analytics, including electronic Clinical Quality Measures (eCQMs) to support payment and practice reforms.
  • Administer the All-Payer Claims Database (APCD) program for the purpose of collecting, assessing and reporting health care information relating to safety, quality, cost-effectiveness, access and efficiency for all levels of health care.
  • Create and administer a consumer health information website for the public to find accurate and reliable information to help make informed decisions when choosing health plans and providers.
    • Prepare the statewide Health Information Technology Plan (HIT Plan) to ensure that appropriate governance, oversight and accountability measures achieve the state's health information technology goals.
    • Establish electronic health information standards for use by health care providers and institutions including provisions relating to security, privacy, data content, structures and format, vocabulary and transmission protocols.
Health Innovation and Strategy 
  • Develop state-led, multi-payer healthcare payment and service delivery reforms
  • Provide technical assistance to providers to support participation in model reforms; 
  • Develop and promote health insurance and coverage innovations that remove financial barriers to, or introduce rewards for healthy behavior, preventive care, medication adherence, chronic disease management, and use of high-value services and providers; 
  • Develop innovations for the management and financing of cross-sector community initiatives to improve health; 
  • Promote healthcare workforce innovations, and 
  • Seek and administer state and federal demonstration programs that support these activities.
Health Systems Planning

On July 1, 2018, the Office of Health Care Access (OHCA) was consolidated within the Office of Health Strategy as the Health Systems Planning Unit to continue and enhance health systems planning. The HSP Unit will continue to have statutory authority to gather and analyze specified hospital financial, billing and discharge data such as hospital expenses and revenues, uncompensated care volumes, hospital utilization, demographic, clinical, charge, payer and provider statistics. 

The unit’s major functions are to: 

  • Administer  the certificate of need (CON) program to promote appropriate development of health facilities and services that addresses a public need. The CON program strives to ensure accessibility for needed services while limiting duplication or excess capacity of facilities and services; 
  • Prepare the Statewide Health Care Facilities and Services Plan
  • Collect and analyze health care data and issue reports including the biennial utilization study; and 
  • Review hospital financial information and issue reports including an annual acute care hospital financial stability report.  

Our Goals For FY2019

  • Make more health care data available to consumers and policy experts
  • Launch the next phase of multi-payer payment reform planning with the engagement of medicare   
  • Assess and leverage existing community accountability strategies   
  • Develop evidence-based interventions and solutions to improve population health
  • Use analytics to improve health in areas of highest disease burden and health disparities
  • Align community health priorities and community benefit allocations
  • Monitor impact of hospital acquisitions and consolidations

OHS – Serving The Needs of Connecticut

  • For Consumers – 
    • Consumer Health Information Website
    • Innovation to improve health and health care while controlling costs
    • State oversight to ensure that services provided by hospitals and other facilities are equitably available to meet the needs of consumers across the state
    • Public input through work groups and hearings 
    • Regular news and fact sheets about health care in Connecticut
  • For Physicians, Hospitals and Other Providers –
    • Health Information Exchange
    • Technical Assistance
    • Innovation to improve health care delivery
    • Regulation of new services provided to specific populations to prevent higher costs or inequity
    • Access to data and analysis to assist in community service planning and financial stability
  • For Policy Advocates, Researchers and Experts –
    • Access to comprehensive data through the APCD and other sources
    • Opportunities for data linkage between clinical, administrative, insurance and financial data systems
    • Data and analysis about hospital acquisitions and overall changes to health care delivery system
    • Reporting of national and statewide health care trends and issues
    • Leadership and collaboration