CT Center for Patient Safety Newsletter
July 2011

Legislative Wrap Up
For complete detail, visit CT General Assembly Website and search by bill number.


H.B. 6618 allows the DPH to take disciplinary action against a practitioner license similar to action taken against that practitioner in other states.

H.B. 6618 provides increased protection to patients in Nursing homes and Long Term Care Facilities by ensuring that employees undergo a criminal history and patient abuse background search.

Public Act 11-58 The new vrsion of the SustiNet Bill - most provision are effective July 2, 1011.


This Sustinet bill:

1. requires the comptroller to offer employee and retiree coverage under "partnership plans" to (a) nonstate public employers beginning January 1, 2012 and (b) nonprofit employers beginning January 1, 2013; 2. requires certain municipal employers that sponsor fully insured group health insurance policies or plans for their active employees and retirees to submit, by October 1 annually, certain information to the comptroller; 3. allows employers to give certain claims data they request from health insurers to the comptroller upon his request and requires the information be kept confidential; 4. establishes the (a) Office of Health Reform and Innovation (OHRI) and (b) SustiNet Health Care Cabinet in the lieutenant governor's office; 5. requires OHRI to convene a working group concerning a statewide multipayer data initiative; 6. requires (a) hospitals to submit patient-identifiable and emergency department data to the Office of Health Care Access (OHCA) which must keep it confidential, (b) certain facilities providing outpatient services to provide data to OHCA, and (c) OHCA to convene a working group addressing patient-identifiable data reporting in the outpatient setting; 7. makes a variety of changes in the laws relating to contracts between health care providers and health insurers; 8. requires the Insurance Department to license and regulate third-party administrators (TPA); 9. changes various health insurance statutes to conform with the 2010 federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), including covering dependents until age 26, not denying coverage to children under age 19 because of preexisting conditions, and eliminating lifetime benefit maximums; and10. revises the health insurance utilization review, grievance, and external appeal statutes to comply with the PPACA.


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Dear Members,


The legislative session is over and already I am looking at what did not pass this year that would have been helpful to the healthcare consumer.  I am increasingly becoming interested in over use of medication, testing and surgery.  Many of you might be interested in three recently published books:  

  • The Emperor's New Drugs; Exploding the Antidepressant Myth, by Irving Kirsch
  • The Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets Psychiatric Drugs and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America, by Robert Whitaker
  • Unhinged: The Trouble with Psychiatry - a Doctor's Revelations about a Profession in Crisis by Daniel Cariat

An informed consumer is important.  Psychotropic drugs are powerful - we want these medications to work for you and not against you.  There are more and more studies documenting the over use of these drugs in nursing homes and children living in poverty.  There could not be two more vulnerable populations.


You might want to google Marcia Angell's article, The Epidemic of Mental Illness:  Why?   In this article, she reviews all three of these books.


May you all have a healthy summer. Shortly - the announcement of our new website.  Stay tuned.



Top Four Don'ts for Doctors in Primary Care.
Dr. Stephen Smith, a colleague from New London and an articulate spokesperson at several shared press conferences, has just authored an important study. Here are the four don't's:
  1. The use of antibiotics for sore throats
  2. CT scans for minor head injuries in children.
  3. Electrocardiograms that are performed routinely on healthy adults
  4. Widespread prescribing of brand-name statins to reduce L.D.L. or bad cholesterol

Dr. Smith, a member of the National Physicians Alliance, also urged doctors not to perform bone densrty scans pn womwn younger than 65 and men younger than 70 who have no risk foctors for osteoporosis.


The purpose of the study was "to come up with the top things that primary care physicians can do that would enhance quality, but also reflect the idea of being good stewards of fine medical resources, save money and reduce harms and risks."


Legislative Wrap Up Continued.


 Proposed H.B. No. 5045 REP. COOK, 65th DIST. 'AN ACT REQUIRING HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS TO DISPLAY PHOTOGRAPHIC IDENTIFICATION BADGES DURING WORKING HOURS', to allow patients to quickly identify those health care providers who are involved in their direct care.

-          Public Act 11-32



Raised S.B. No. 1207AN ACT CONCERNING OFFERS OF COMPROMISE. To extend the date by which a plaintiff may file an offer of compromise in a medical malpractice case.



H.B. No. 5048AN ACT REQUIRING CERTIFICATE OF NEED APPROVAL FOR THE TERMINATION OF INPATIENT AND OUTPATIENT SERVICES BY A HOSPITAL. To require any hospital that seeks to terminate inpatient or outpatient services currently offered by the hospital to file a certificate of need application with the Office of Health Care Access division of the Department of Public Health.



-          Public Act 11-2


S.B. No. 799AN ACT CONCERNING MISREPRESENTATION AS A BOARD CERTIFIED BEHAVIOR ANALYST. To protect consumers from persons who fraudulently claim to be board certified behavior analysts or board certified assistant behavior analysts.



Raised S.B. No. 921AN ACT ESTABLISHING A STATE HEALTH INSURANCE EXCHANGE. To establish a state health insurance exchange pursuant to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

-          Public Act 11-53



Substitute for Raised S.B. No. 1201AN ACT CONCERNING PATIENT ACCESS AND CONTROL OVER MEDICAL TEST RESULTS. To facilitate improved patient access to medical test results and provide patients with greater ability to direct the sharing of medical tests results with all health care providers involved in the patient's care.


And what didn't pass?

Acts that would have

Revised  provisions concerning certificates of merit:  direct patient access to blood test results:  improving the effectiveness of the CT Medical Examining Board and strengthening patient protection: requirement that hopsitols explaon certain medical codes and terminology: promoted improved and encouraged shared decision making:  promoted the safety and well-being of patients who receive diagnostic imaging testing: creating  uniform standards for health care providers and health insurers for preauthorization of admission, service, procedure or extension of stay.


We helped to defeat

a cap on non-economic damages

exemption of liability for emergency room doctors

exemption of liability for SustiNt physicians.