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April 2017
• New Guideline Will Allow First-Year Doctors...to Work 24-Hour Shifts
• March was National Nutrition Month
• Volunteers wanted for a Research Study
• The Puzzling Popularity of Back Surgery in Certain Regions
• Those Indecipherable...Medical Bills
• Do you have something to share with our members?

March 2017
• Five Hints to Make the Most of Your Office Visit
• Do Doctors say "I'm Sorry"?
• A patient's patient safety story
• Talking About Advanced Care Planning
• Interesting Headlines and Info. You May Have Missed.

January 2017
• Why are Top Republicans Saying that there's a Medical Malpractice Crisis?
• Patient Satisfaction vs Quality Ratings
• January Health Hint:...Winter Preparedness.
• The FDA - Oversight of Medications
• "Dead in Bed" Cases are Rising

December 2016
• 2016 Year in Review

November 2016
• CT's 2016 Department of Public Health Report on Adverse Medical Events
• Where Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Stand on Seven Health Care Issues
• Connecticut Hospital Inspection Reports
• Is it allergies or the flu?
• Shared Decision Making and Patient Reported Outcomes
• Fair Health... A tool to help consumers understand the COSTS of Health Care

October 2016
• Medication Safety Tips.
• Having your health data at your fingertips
• Drug Prices are Still Raging Out of Control.
• Consumers, Conflict of Interest, and the FDA

August 2016
• Is GlaxcoSmithKline untouchable?
• August Health Hint...New FDA Nutrition Labels
• CMS releases Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings
• Medicare and Medicaid changes

July 2016
• July Health Hint...Bee Stings
• What we have been talking about on Facebook
• What are Fluoroquinolones and why do they matter?
• Disposing of Prescription Medicines and Over-the-Counter (OTC) Products...& Sharps
• Resolution, When Medical Harm Occurs
• How Retail Health Clinics are Changing the Face of Health Care Delivery

June 2016
• Value of Care
• Measuring Hospital Value of Care
• Measuring Medication Value of Care
• June Health Hint
• Choosing A Healthcare Proxy
• When prediction models don't work
• Medical Error: Third Leading Cause of Death

May 2016
• Drug Trials - The results are not always what they seem.
• A Throwback to the Days of House Calls
• May Health Hint..Hand Hygiene Day May 5 2016
• Anne's Story
• The Most Important Conversation You'll Ever Have
• How People Differ from Airplanes

April 2016
• Introducing our cartoonist
• Out-of-Pocket Sticker Shock
• April Health Hint:...Cold or Allergy
• Following the Money Trail
• CR Hospital Ratings...and their article...What You Don't Know About Your Doc Could Hurt You
• Dietary supplements and non-prescription products

March 2016
• Taking Control of you Medical Costs
• March is Patient Safety Month
• The law of unintended consequences
• Is your medical data YOUR medical data?
• Introducing Shannon Church, CTCPS intern

February 2016
• Computers are in the way!
• February Health Hint
• Sen Blumenthal's Generic Drug Bill
• What's All That Noise?
• Problem Paying My bills

January 2016
• Important Questions to ask before you go to the hospital
• Rate of decline in Hospital-Acquired Conditions leveled in 2014
• Twelve Questions
• 18 Connecticut Hospitals Penalized
• January Health Hint
• Young Children are being given antipsychotics
• What are Patient Advisory Councils?

December 2015
• Looking for Guest Writers
• CT Adverse Medical Events & the Leapfrog Hospital Ratings
• The Health of our Healthcare System
• Brand Name v. Generic Drugs
• Open Enrollment is Underway
• December Health Hint

November 2015
• Making the Case for Medication Reviews
• November Health Hint
• How to find (reliable) medical information online
• How do consumers choose a hospital?
• What Patients Want
• Why Handwashing is so important for your health

October 2015
• Community Paramedicine
• Healthcare's Brave New World:...Patient-Centered Care
• The CARE Act. Follow-Up
• Community Healthcare Provider Home Visit Safety Tips
• Under Pressure, Physicians are Improving Their Bedside Manner
• The New Universal Patient Safety Flag
• The Need for Better Health Literacy
• October Health Hint

September 2015
• September Health Hint... Sepsis
• The Peggy Lillis Foundation:...Raising Awareness of C.Diff
• BCBS of N. Carolina and their Price Transparency
• Patients First

August 2015
• August Health Hint...Vacations and Your Health Insurance.
• 21st Century Cures Act
• Two Patient Tools for Evaluating Hospitals and Surgeons
• What is Written in the Stars?...Advancing Safety for Elders
• Finding the Funny

July 2015
• Jean Rexford, 2015 Carlson Honoree
• Surprise Medical Charges
• July Health Hints
• Not everyone defines a health emergency the same
• How are Connecticut residents affected by the Supreme Court ruling on subsidies?
• Care Partner Programs: Advancing Advocacy at the Bedside
• The staggering differences in Hospital Charges

June 2015
• Overdiagnosis and Overtreatment
• June Health Hint
• Billing Transparency
• Research done for the patients!
• Patients..... The Most Underutilized Resource in Healthcare

May 2015
• Ther Power of Having Access to Your Own Medical Records
• Telehealth...A new way of delivering health care
• May Health Hints
• Who is Who in your Doctor's office?
• Who owns that Surgical Center?
• The Problem With Patient Satisfaction Based Reimbursement

April 2015

• Hospital Rating Scales
• April is National Minority Health Month
• The lighter side of Healthcare
• Patient Safety Roundtable
• Treatments - Benefits vs. Risks
• Do You Really Need to Stick Me

March 2015
• How much do insurers pay for common health services?
• The Anthem data breach
• March Health Hint
• The evolving role of your pharmacist
• Oral health and your overall well-being
• Connecticut’s Changing Hospital Landscape

February 2015
• Patient Engagement using the Patient Passport
• February Health Hint
• Big Pharma Plays Hide-the-Ball With Data
• Treating Agitation in Seniors without using Antipsychotics

November 2014
• Caregiver Action Network
• Leapfrog's Hospital Safety Rating Scores
• Doctor, Please Pee in this Cup
• November Health Hint
• The Patient Passport

October 2014
• Medication Safety Conference
• The painkiller epidemic
• New Frontiers In Medical Screening
• 21st Century Snake Oil
• October Health Hints
• MED QIPS takes off at Georgetown Medical School

September 2014
• Disclosure and Apology: A Win-Win for Patient Safety and Medical Liability?
• When Patients Read What Their Doctors Write
• Livanta recently named as Connecticut's Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) for Medicare Patients...
• September Health Hint: Flu Shots
• Newly Insured, Many Now Face Learning Curve
• Like Priceline for patients: Doctors compete for business via online bids for surgery

August 2014
• An Appeal for Safe and Appropriate Imaging of Children
• New Legislation on Safe Staffing and "duty of candor"
• Some Generic Drug Prices are Increasing
• Avoid Hospitalizations in ... July and August
• CU Letter to Congress
• Hospital Mergers ... When is big too big?
• Are Patient Satisfaction and Quality of Care Linked?

July 2014
• The Cleveland Clinic ... and the power of one determined advocate
• The Connecticut Partnership for Patient Safety
• What About Cost and Quality
• Healthcare Billing - does anyone understand it?

June, 2014
• National Practitioner Data Bank
• Big Pharma - Big Money: The Cost of Doing Business
• Eleven Clicks Away - Getting to your insurer's formulary
• C-Hit: An unusual resource for Connecticut Residents

May, 2014
• Empowering Connecticut's Newly Insured...Identifying the Gaps in Accessing Health Care
• Cost of Treatment
• Summary of OIG Reports on Adverse Events
• Drug Abuse in the Medical Community
• Misdiagnosed: Docs' Mistakes Affect 12 Million a Year

April, 2014
• Handwashing
• Opioids Addiction and Heroin
• Coming UP
• Our Legislation went Nowhere

March, 2014
• Patient Safety Resources
• Facility Fees
• State Report Card on Physician Quality
• Electronic Medical Records

February, 2014
• Greed...Charles Denham
• Legislative Issues
• Prescription Drug Factoid

January, 2014
• Questioning Protocol
• Best Disruptive Writings
• Institute for Healthcare Improvement
• CTCPS Conducts Workshop

October, 2013
• How Many Die from Medical Mistakes
• Help with Obamacare
• Road Map to Eliminate HAI
• FDA calls for device IDs

September, 2013
• Introducing Lavinia Cristescu CTCPS Intern
• State Innovation Model
• Imaging - Doctors Who Profit
• Hospital Compare
• Consumers United for Evidence Based Healthcare
• Healthcare Lobbying Tab in CT

Summer, 2013
• Jean Rexford Named in CDC Award
• Breaking the Wall of Silence
• Patient and Family Advisory Councils
• The Many Facets of CTCPS
• Communication -...It Can Save Your Life!

June, 2013
• The Safe Hospital Room
• WhyNotTheBest.org
• CTCPS Resource Center
• Please Support our Efforts at CTCPS
• The Carlson Forum

May, 2013
• Medical Error as a leading cause of death
• IPFCC Partnerships for Quality and Safety Seminar
• Medicare Meltdown
• All Payer Claim Database

April, 2013
• Improving Cancer Care
• New isn't necessarily better
• Health insurers spent less than 1% of their premium dollars on care improvement
• Connecticut gets an F!

March, 2013
• Less is More
• RxISK - the Drug Safety Website
• Two Important Books
• Other Excellent Resources

February, 2013
• First do no harm
• Amgen gets a gift
• FDA will take action
• Johnson & Johnson Hid Data

January, 2013
• The Patients Changing Role
• Transparancy and Accountability
• Legislative Report on Adverse Events
• Lapses in Medication Care

November, 2012
• Dear Members - A shift in the way the medical establishment views patients
• An independent panel finds that Medtronic edited Studies
• PCORI (Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute) Conference
• The Economics of Health Care Quality and Medical Errors
• Medical Harm Complaint System Could be Quality Data Gold Mine

October, 2012
• Jennifer Jaff Advocate For The Chronically Ill 1957 - 2012
• Joint Commission report on Top Performers (Hospitals) on Key Quality Measures™ in 2011
• New IOM Report: Waste in the health care system and even more importantly - harm
• Profit over Patient
• CTCPS's Outreach Education Program is Growing

September, 2012
• Change is Coming
• NEJM on Ethical Guidelines
• NEVER is Up and Running

August, 2012
• Health Care Law Stands: What it Means for CT and You
• Congressional hearing on Patient Safety in Hartford: July 2, 2012
• In the Past Four Years....Consumers Beware! An article about Big Pharma
• Medicare announces updated, enhanced tools for patients to compare hospitals and nursing homes
• Health and Human Services Report that Hospitals are Ignoring Requirements to Report Errors.
• ProPublica Journalists' New Initiative

July, 2012
• Disturbing Facts
• Congressional Hearing on Patient Safety
• Choosing Wisely - American College of Radiology
• The Leapfrog Group has released their Hospital Safety Score Website

June, 2012
• Americans' Perceptions of the Costs and Quality of Medical Care
• When the FDA reached out to consumers and patient representatives
• Choosing Wisely
• Getting the Right Health Care: No More No Less - June 12, 2012

May, 2012
• Observation Status: a new money making ploy
• CTCPS launches new area of interest: the unique healthcare needs of Connecticut's Seniors
• Doctors Fall Short In Helping Many Seniors
• Hip and Knee Replacement Registries are Needed
• Treatment of Dementia in the Elderly with Antipsychotics

April, 2012
• Report from the Legislative Office Building
      ▫ Tort reform issues
      ▫ Regulations affecting nursing homes and home health agencies,
      ▫ Renewing medical licenses Online
      ▫ We are opposing a bill that would exempt emergency room physicians from liability
• April 7, 2012 Day of Patient Safety at St. Francis Hospital
• Outreach to Nursing Students
• 2011 Healthcare Fraud
• Nursing home and home health agency quality of care issues 

March, 2012
• Patient Safety Starts with "Me" - March 7, 2012 Learn about patient safety and your role as your own advocate.
• On Dr. Berwick's departure from CMS
• Medical Device Makers in DC
• CTCPS and this year's legislative session:
      ▫ ER Doctors, on line licensure of all doctors, dentist and nurses, Medical Examining Boards, Nursing Home reform

February, 2012
• U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal has joined two other senators introducing Medical Device Safety Legislation
• Study finds more than 130.000 Medicare beneficiaries experienced one or more adverse events in hospitals in a single month
• Transparency and Accountability Needed NOW!
• SAVE THE DATE: March 7, 2012 Learn about patient safety and your role as your own advocate.

January, 2012
• Medical Device Safety Legislation introduced by Senator Blumenthal (D) of Connecticut
• Payments from Drug and Medical Device Manufacturers to Doctors must now be reported
• Drugs Prices Rise Faster Than Other Health Care Costs
• Patient Safety Awareness Week, March 4-10, 2012

December, 2011
• New practice of placing hospital patients on observation status can leave Medicare patients with big bills.
• Prescription Painkiller Overdoses in the U. S.
• Velez Family Fund Challenge
• Medical Device adverse events grew by 17% while the industry itself grew by only 9%.

November, 2011
• U.S. Health Care System Gets Low Grade From Commonwealth Fund
• Consumers Union Safe Patient Summit

October, 2011
• Costs shift to workers as health insurance expenses rise
• Federal Government steps up demand for more comprehensive and more transparent infection reporting
• Medical Errors Among Lapses Cited By Medical Board
• Health Insurers Deny Up To A Third Of State Applicants

September, 2011
• NEVER - Northeast Voices for Error Reduction
• Medical Devices - Lives and Money are at stake
• Medicare Fraud

July, 2011
• Legislative Wrap Up
• Top Four Don'ts for Doctors in Primary Care

June, 2011
• Public Citizen analyzes disciplinary actions taken against physicians – Connecticut once again ranks in the bottom ten.
• NEVER (Northeast Voices for Error Reduction)
• ProPublica continues to expose conflicts of interest.
• Financial Ties Bind Medical Societies to Drug and Device Makers

April, 2011
• Hospital Acquired Infection Legislation.
• Mary Ellen Ladd raises our awareness of Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month
• Letter to Legislators Re: A patient perspective on liability PROTECTION.

March, 2011
• SustiNet - a Connecticut health care plan passed into law in July, 2009. Its goal is to provide affordable health care coverage to 98% of Connecticut residents by 2014.
• More errors result of physicians not listening
• A personal story written by John Torello

February, 2011
• Preventable deaths They will continue until there is a national strategy to stop them
• Negligent Physicians Connecticut Medical Examining Board needs to toughen up
• Medical errors take an horrendous toll

January, 2011
• Patient Advocacy Resources
• The Connecticut Health Investigative Team (www.C-HIT.ORG)
• Governor-Elect Dan Malloy has selected Dr. Jewel Mullen to lead the Connecticut Department of Public Health.
• Negligent Physicians - Connecticut Medical Examining Board needs to toughen up

December, 2010
• Federal database for consumer complaints approved
• Study Finds No Progress in Safety at Hospitals
• $3.1 Billion Recovered Through the False Claims Act During Fiscal Year 2010: Largest Recoveries From Pharmaceutical Manufacturers
• Consumer Reports Insights: Get the facts about drugs that are recalled

November, 2010
• Patient Advocacy: ways to get involved
• Prescription Drug Use Soared in the Past Decade
• Glaxo to Pay $750 Million for Sale of Bad Products
• Surgical errors continue despite protocols
• discussion on Healthcare Associated Infections Prevention Outcomes

October, 2010
• Carpe Diem, buyer beware – not just for used cars, but for healthcare as well
• Connecticut Doctors Slow to Adopt Electronic Record-Keeping
• Report: Drug Costs for Seniors to Skyrocket Next Year

September, 2010
• A discussion about the importance of informed decisions regarding one’s own healthcare
• New York Times Report: Very powerful antipsychotic drugs being used to treat very young children.
• Pennsylvania cost containment makes a business case for eliminating infections...

August, 2010
• Articles about Avandia
• Obama appoints Berwick CMS administrator
• Study Examines Sepsis and Septic Shock After Surgery
• Survey: doctors have direct, personal knowledge of an impaired or incompetent physician
• New Survey Launched to Query Patients/Consumers on Overtreatment

July, 2010
• Letters we won't send but have always wanted to write

June, 2010
• The cost of infections
• Trip to the CDC
• Estimates of Healthcare-Associated Infections
• Infectious diseases that may be acquired in healthcare facilities

May, 2010
• the increased use of anti-depressants in our society
• S.B. 248 – An Act Concerning Adverse Events at Hospitals and Outpatient Surgical Facilities
• S.B. 270 – An Act Concerning the Prohibition of Certain Gifts from Pharmaceutical and Medical Device manufacturing Companies to Health Care Providers
• The Empowered Patient Coalition
• Patient reporting site for medical errors is now online
• list of resources for you to access to better understand health reform and what it might mean to you

April, 2010
• The Physicians Sunshine Act
• Study Sees a Slant in Articles on Avandia
• Lack of communication – it’s a big deal

March, 2010
• The Lilly heist and the need for e-pedigree
• New Adverse Events Study is more than troubling
• 1956 hospital expose

March, 2010 – Legislative Update Edition
• Senate Bill 270 would restrict the gifts provided to health care workers
• Senate Bill 248 would require hospital specific reports of adverse events
• Senate Bill 103 concerning access to comprehensive factual information regarding long- term care facilities
• Senate Bill 222 would allow a person who had filed a complaint a great role and access to information about the status of the complaint, and notice of the final outcome.

February, 2010
• Real life stories that are unacceptable
• Harvard Doc Steps Down to Keep Drug-Industry Speaking Gig
• Growing Connecticut Coalition willing to take on the Pharmaceutical Industry
• The Treatment Trap
• The Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making

January, 2010
chiropractic examining board hearing- Patients Should Know Risks
• Hospitals Affiliated with Harvard Limit Outside Pay - conflicting roles of some medical leaders
• Health Lobbying Explodes in 2009

December, 2009
• CT Scans and Unnecessary Imaging
• How Can We Prevent Having to Undergo Too Many Tests?
• Study questions safety of mammograms for young women at high risk of cancer.

November, 2009 – Special Mid-Month Edition
• Doctor uses wrong man's sperm to produce twins.
• St Francis Hospital in Hartford is on Probation for one year.
• Hidden Mistakes

November, 2009
• Money Driven Medicine
• Save the date! Consumers Union Safe Patient Project live forum webcast -- November 17, 2010
• Senior Pastor, Rev. Michael J. Moran, First Congregational Church, New Milford speaks on Understanding the Ethical Issues Behind Negligence
• How Clean Is That Hand You Are Shaking

October, 2009
• How clean is your soap?
• CTCPS in Our Nation’s Capitol
• Illegal Marketing of Zyprexa

September, 2009
• Jean Rexford appointed to the Connecticut State Board of Chiropractic Examiners.
• The Bankruptcy Toll or Medical Bankruptcy
• Pfizer Gets a Well Deserved Fine

August, 2009 – Mid-Month Update
• Dead by Mistake – Preventable Deaths
• PR – Not Science: Wyeth paid ghostwriters to pen journal articles on hormone replacement therapy
• Pfizer Investigator Stalked Neurontin Witness - Who Paid Off the Plaintiffs?
• Doctors Reap Benefits By Doing Own Tests
• Not even a Hospital President is immune to MRSA
• 10 Steps to Better Health Care

August, 2009
• The SustiNet Bill is now law
• Conflicts of interest common in cancer research
• Focus on Nursing Home Care
• MYTH: A new public health plan will only drive-up health care costs

July, 2009 – Mid-Month Update
• Nursing Home Bill of Rights
• SB325: An Act Concerning Pharmacy Errors and Pharmacy Commission Meeting Minutes
• Only 1% of pharmacy errors are ever reported.

July, 2009
• Proposed time line for Health care reform
• H.R. 2937: Congress Takes On MRSA
• FDA panel backs ban on painkillers

June, 2009 – Mid-Month Update
• Report from our nation's capitol – Our lobbying efforts on consumer principles for health reform.
• 1 in 4 Nursing Home Residents Carries MRSA
• Myths about healthcare reform

June, 2009
• agreement requiring pharmaceutical companies to disclose all payments over $1000 made to doctors falls through
• Study finds limited reporting of disciplinary actions
• A Celebrity Patient Sells His Soul to the Pharma Devil

May, 2009
• Real Age...think twice before you answer those questions. Online Age Quiz Is a Window for Drug Makers.
• Senate Bill 1049, a Pharma gift ban to physicians is alive and well
• Cutting Surgical Infections

April, 2009
• Senate Bill 1091: An Act Concerning Complaints Pending in the Department of Public Health Against Physicians and Other Health Care Providers
• What In The World Is AMSA?
• Limiting Pharma

March, 2009
• Taking on the Pharmaceutical Industry
• testimony on Medical accountability and responsibility at a Public Health hearing in Hartford – in spite of the blizzard.
• Call to Act - Contact Members of the Public Health Committee and urge them to support Senate Bill 1049
• Reporter looking for the people behind the statistics.

February, 2009 – Taking Action, Making a Difference
• SB 1049: supporting a gift ban

February, 2009
• Powerful Testimony of Janet Levy pushing for full disclosure in Support of SB 90
• This week in Hartford

February, 2009
• Public Access to Pharmacy Prescription Errors
• AHRQ Director Helps Consumers Navigate the Health Care System in a Web Advice Column
• November 2009 will mark the tenth anniversary of the IOM report - To Err is Human

January, 2009 Update
• Our Legislative Agenda
• MRSA infections rising in children’s' ear, nose, throat
• Bills we are watching: Proposed Bill No. 216: An act providing a cap on noneconomic damages in Medical Malpractice Action; Proposed Bill No 5291: An act concerning Department of Public Health Oversight Over gifts provided by the Pharmaceutical Industry to Health care providers; Proposed Bill No 108: An act concerning the Nursing Home facility Patients' Bill of Rights; Proposed Bill No 135: An act prohibiting the sale of physician prescription drug records for the purpose of pharmaceutical marketing; Proposed Bill No 45: Prohibition of certain gifts from pharmaceutical sales reps to health care providers; Proposed Bill No 90: An Act requiring chiropractors to obtain informed written consent from a patient prior to performing certain procedures involving treatment of the cervical spine; Proposed Bill No 5030:An act concerning the establishment of a prescription drug academic detailing pilot project.

January, 2009
• Changes at the FDA: Joshua Sharfstein, Baltimore's health commissioner to head the federal agency
• Millions weighing medical costs to find savings
• MRSA fight extends into the community


Newsletter

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Health Care Blog

The Puzzling Popularity of Back Surgery in Certain Regions
the New York Times  | The New Health Care  |  By AUSTIN FRAKT and JONATHAN SKINNER  |…
Continue Reading »

Those Indecipherable Medical Bills? They’re One Reason Health Care Costs So Much
The New York Times Magazine  |  By ELISABETH ROSENTHAL  |  MARCH 29, 2017 “… A…
Continue Reading »

Physician Appointment Wait Times Up 30% from 2014
Health Leaders  |  John Commins  |   March 21, 2017 The survey found that the average rate…
Continue Reading »


Becoming a More Empowered Patient

First, we have chosen to share a video by Consumer Health Choices: Talking With Your Doctor. In it you will see how preparing for you appointment can make a difference.

We have chosen a second video by the National Patient Safety Foundation: AskMe3, to share with you. Here, you learn that there are three important questions to ask your doctor whenever you see him or her.

Finally, we are sharing a series of videos by Dartmouth-Hitchcock:
Self-Advocacy: The Empowered Patient,
Self-Advocacy: Preparing for your Visit,
Self-Advocacy: Why It's Important To Share and
Self-Advocacy: Doing Research.

For the complete story, please click here

5 Things to Know

  1. What you need to know in the Hospital
  2. 15 Steps You Can Take To Reduce Your Risk of a Hospital Infection
  3. Selecting Doctors & Hospitals
  4. What to do to avoid medication error
  5. AHRQ Director Helps Consumers Navigate the Health Care System in a New Advice Column on the Web

You've Suffered Medical Harm - Now What Do You Do?

According to a recent article published by ProPublica titled: So You’ve Become a Patient Safety Statistic – Now What? by Marshall Allen there are six things to do….

  1. Get a copy of medical records.
  2. Make sure the incident is reported internally.
  3. If the patient has died, order a forensic autopsy.
  4. Consider calling an attorney.
  5. Meet with the doctor and hospital officials.
  6. Report the incident to regulators, who can investigate.

For greater detail and more important information, please read the full article.