Press Releases

Office of Health Strategy


Office of Health Strategy Announces Healthcare Benchmark Initiative Steering Committee

For Immediate Release:

October 21, 2021

(HARTFORD, CT) – Today, Office of Health Strategy (OHS) Executive Director Vicki Veltri announced the launch of the Healthcare Benchmark Initiative Steering Committee. OHS assembled its new committee, which is comprised of diverse senior stakeholder executives subject matter experts,  state agency executives, and consumer advocates, to advise on all aspects of the Healthcare Benchmark Initiative under Governor Lamont’s Executive Order No. 5, including the following:

  • Healthcare cost growth benchmarks and cost growth mitigation strategies to ensure equitable access to affordable healthcare;
  • Quality benchmarks and quality measure alignment to ensure equitable, high-quality healthcare and improved population health;
  • Advanced primary care that is patient-driven, team-based, equitable and effective and without unnecessary burdens for clinicians; and
  • Use of the All-Payer Claims Database (APCD) and other data sources to inform recommendations for legislative and executive branch proposals that will reduce the rate of spending growth, improve healthcare and patient outcomes, and support and sustain better primary care, all in an equitable manner.

The Healthcare Benchmark Initiative Steering Committee will build upon the existing efforts of Connecticut’s healthcare benchmark initiative, which requires OHS to benchmark total healthcare expenditures growth and healthcare quality, and to set primary care spending targets for all populations in the state. The technical expertise provided by the former Technical Team will transition to engagement and collaboration with senior executives of directly impacted entities, other senior officials and advocates who must drive change.  OHS thanks the Technical Team members for their service in this important work.

The OHS Stakeholder Advisory Board will continue. It will advise the Steering Committee and OHS as the first year of implementation of the cost growth benchmark nears its conclusion.

“Our administration has been committed to driving down healthcare costs in our state,” said Governor Lamont. “We are excited to work with OHS leadership and the dedicated high-level stakeholders as they continue their effort to implement the Healthcare Benchmark Initiative and look forward to their continuous recommendations on healthcare policy in the future.”

“We are now at the point where the rubber meets the road,” OHS Executive Director Vicki Veltri said. “Significant data from the APCD, which holds over a billion claims, will lay the groundwork for action moving forward as it reveals trends in pricing and utilization of services and disparities in access to services across the state. When we share baseline benchmark performance data of the state in the next month, we expect that data to translate into further action.  Every member of the committee understands the barriers our residents are facing in accessing equitable, high quality, affordable healthcare, and every member has expressed commitment to taking on this challenge.”

During the initial Healthcare Benchmark Initiative Steering Committee (virtual) public meeting, scheduled for Monday, October 25th, 2021, from 3:30-5:00 p.m., OHS is expected to share significant data trends from the APCD with the committee as a springboard for action.


Healthcare Benchmark Initiative Steering Committee Members

Vicki Veltri, Executive Director, Connecticut Office of Health Strategy

Paul Lombardo, Director, Life & Health Division, Connecticut Insurance Department

Deidre Gifford, Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Social Services

Josh Wojcik, Policy Director, Connecticut Office of the State Comptroller           

Judy Dowd, Health and Human Services Section Director, Office of Policy and Management

Jeffrey Flaks, President & Chief Executive Officer, Hartford Healthcare

Chris O’Connor, President, Yale New Haven Health

Kathleen Silard, President & Chief Executive Officer Stamford Health

Ken Lalime, Chief Executive Officer, Community Health Center Association of Connecticut

Michael Posner, Chief Executive Officer, Starling Physicians

Ben Alvarez, President & Chief of Executive Officer, ProHealth Physicians, Inc

Lou Gianquinto, President, Anthem BCBCS of CT

Robert Kosior, Sr. Vice President, Pharmacy & Medical Cost Management, Emblem Health, Connecticare, Inc. & Affiliates

Wendy Sherry, CT Market President, Cigna

Paul Grady, Connecticut Moving to Value Alliance (MTVA)

Cassandra Murphy, Executive Director, CT Coalition of Taft-Hartley Health Funds

Chris Ulbrich, Chief Executive Officer, Chairman, Ulbrich Stainless Steels & Special Metals, Inc.

Andrew Markowski, National Federation of Independent Business

Ted Doolittle, Healthcare Advocate, Office of the Healthcare Advocate

Stephanye Clarke, Program Officer, Community Foundation of Eastern CT

Fiona Scott Morton, Theodore Nierenberg Professor of Economics, Yale University School of Management

Tiffany Donelson, President and Chief Executive Officer, CT Health Foundation



Contact: Tina Kumar
Manager of External Affairs, Connecticut Office of Health Strategy

860.969.7228 (cell)