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Governor Lamont Announces Connecticut Accepted Into Peterson-Milbank Program To Support Efforts on Containing Healthcare Cost Growth

Governor Ned Lamont and Connecticut Office of Healthcare Strategy Executive Director Victoria Veltri today announced that the State of Connecticut has been accepted into the Peterson-Milbank Program for Sustainable Health Care Costs. Launched earlier this year by the Milbank Memorial Fund, the nationwide program was created to advance state efforts on addressing the growth of healthcare costs.

Through the program, Connecticut will receive technical assistance support over the next two years from the Milbank Memorial Fund and Bailit Health as the state implements a healthcare cost growth benchmark. This support will include a learning collaborative with other states that are accepted into the program.

The state’s acceptance into the program coincides with recent, final recommendations from the Office of Healthcare Strategy’s Healthcare Cost Growth Benchmark initiative, which was prepared in compliance with Governor Lamont’s Executive Order No. 5, issued in early 2020. The Peterson-Milbank Program will provide essential support as Connecticut now begins its work to meet those recommendations.

“Addressing the rate at which healthcare costs rise will yield the predictable, sustainable increases that provide across-the-board economic stability for residents, families, businesses, nonprofits, and governments,” Governor Lamont said. “Connecticut’s commitment to providing such stability helped it qualify for this program, which in turn will help the state deliver on established healthcare cost growth benchmarks.”

“Our efforts to curb healthcare cost growth and improve primary care resourcing in Connecticut will be enhanced by this support from the resources Milbank brings to bear – its expertise ranges from data use strategy to policy development, and from stakeholder engagement to sustainability planning,” Executive Director Veltri said. “It’s gratifying to know Connecticut will have this partnership to rely upon for development of a more detailed plan for the long-term success and sustainability of its healthcare cost growth benchmark initiative.”

The Peterson-Milbank program is based upon a model used in Massachusetts, Delaware, and Rhode Island to measure statewide healthcare spending using data collected from both providers and insurers and set an annual benchmark or target for cost growth. Connecticut officials have worked closely with their counterparts in those states – and with local stakeholders, including employers, insurers, providers, and advocates – to develop Connecticut’s healthcare cost growth benchmark.

With the Connecticut cost growth benchmark now in place – 3.4 percent for calendar year 2021, 3.2 percent for calendar year 2022, and 2.9 percent for calendar years 2023 to 2025 – analysts can now concentrate on data to highlight primary propellants of spending growth, and then recommend potential interventions to remedy those cost drivers.

“Implementing a healthcare cost growth benchmark is an important first step toward making healthcare more affordable and transparent,” Milbank Memorial Fund Program Officer Rachel Block said. “We are delighted to support Connecticut, along with New Jersey, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, as these states develop the data capacity necessary to identify and address the underlying causes of rising healthcare costs.”

The Peterson-Milbank Program for Sustainable Health Care Costs offers assistance with communications strategies to help keep stakeholders and the public informed about the value of a healthcare cost growth benchmark, how it was developed and established, and how it will be met and maintained.

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