State Senate Sends Landmark Bipartisan Hospital and Health Care Reforms to Governor’s Desk

June 1, 2015

HARTFORD, CT – Senate President Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven) along with Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) today led final passage of a comprehensive package of hospital and health care reforms. The legislative package was drafted in response to a shifting healthcare landscape and is the result of discussions held over the past 6 months by the bipartisan Hospitals Roundtable, a group created and co-chaired by Looney and Fasano.

“Today we send to the Governor’s desk a truly consumer-friendly piece of legislation,” said Sen. Looney. “This bill works to increase transparency in hospital billing, fees, quality of care and institutional purchases. I want to thank, my friend, Sen. Fasano for his partnership and Sen. Gerratana, Rep. Ritter and Rep. Srinivasan for their work on this important issue.”

“I applaud Sen. Looney, Sen. Gerratana, Rep. Ritter, and Rep. Srinivasan for their dedication to championing these landmark reforms,” said Sen. Fasano. “This bipartisan legislation will empower consumers to make informed decisions about their health care and ensure the patient is always the priority. This bill seeks to accomplish our shared goals: to protect patients, reduce costs, and level the playing field for community hospitals and quality care.”

The bipartisan legislative package:

  • Presents comprehensive initiatives to reduce costs for consumers
  • Maintains access to affordable quality care
  • Empowers consumers to make the best health care decisions for them and their families
  • Supports low cost high quality providers to ensure continued diversity and competition in the market

This bill also marks many “firsts” in the nation for Connecticut:

  • First state to ban certain facility fees;
  • First state to declare as a matter of policy and in statute that patients have a right to access their medical records and such records should be made available to the patient and the provider of their choice.
  • First state to define, prohibit and sanction “information blocking”, i.e. unreasonably interfering with the free exchange of patient health information for competitive advantage or financial gain or unreasonably steering referrals to affiliated providers and blocking referrals to outside providers.
  • One of only about a dozen states to adopt protections against “surprise medical bills”
  • Adopted one of the strongest price disclosure laws requiring the disclosure and publication of billed and allowed amounts (i.e. insurance reimbursement rates) for the top 150 inpatient, outpatient, surgical and imaging procedures.
  • Only second state after Massachusetts to adopt a transparent pre acquisition cost and market analysis for certain hospital sales