Revamped state health plan could save $200M a year

A new health plan aimed at Connecticut's uninsured, state employees and retirees could result in as much as $200 million a year in savings by 2017, the Hartford Courant reports.

Such savings projects for the plan, known as SustiNet, are contingent on the plan actually executing a strategy to cut healthcare costs by 1 percent per year. That's based on a scenario as outlined in a report by outside consultant Stan Dorn, a senior policy fellow at the Urban Institute.

Among the assumptions built into the scenario are SustiNet taking complete advantage of the subsidies offered by the federal government as part of the Affordable Care Act, including a sizable inflow of cash to cover current and new Medicaid enrollees; the use of electronic healthcare records for plan enrollees; and the bundling of payments to providers, notes the Hartford Courant.

Dorn noted that although the scenario was considered "optimistic," it was also considered conservative. "We were trying to err on the side of being conservative," he said, adding that some researchers believe cost growth could actually be reduced by two percentage points a year.

Even in the worse case scenario, SustiNet's new configuration should not add any extra costs to Connecticut's healthcare delivery.

For more:
- read the Hartford Courant article
- read the Connecticut Mirror article