Health Insurance Open Enrollment Starts Nov. 1, But You Can Window Shop Now

Open enrollment for 2020 health insurance plans begins Nov. 1, but consumers can already “window shop” among plans on the state’s health insurance exchange. On Access Health CT’s (AHCT) website, accesshealthct.com, the health insurance exchange created by the Affordable Care Act, consumers can browse and compare options. Individuals can begin enrolling Nov. 1, for coverage effective Jan.

How C-HIT’s Christine Woodside reported this project

Christine Woodside had long wanted to understand why sewage overflows regularly in some of Connecticut’s cities. She settled on the Bridgeport neighborhood of Black Rock, on Black Rock Harbor and near the promenades of Seaside Park. There she found recreation, industry, and local people who were getting tired of pollution. She went to Black Rock at least a dozen times between late March and late July. She read sewage plan documents.

Nasal Spray Offers Hope For Severely Depressed Patients

Some Connecticut hospitals and doctors and a clinic are starting to treat severely depressed patients with a new nasal spray called Spravato, touted as the most significant federally approved depression medication since Prozac was approved in 1987. Spravato, which received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in March, has raised hopes for preventing suicides and relieving depression after other treatments have failed. But there are concerns about possible side effects, including drug abuse, elevated blood pressure and heart rate, sedation, and hypersensitivity to surroundings. The nasal spray is prescribed for treatment-resistant depression after at least two other antidepressants haven’t worked and is given with an oral antidepressant. It is only administered in restrictive clinical settings to reduce potential for abuse and side effects.

Want A Tattoo? Do Your Research

The most permanent decision of Kelsey’s life began when she walked into the saloon-style Lucky Soul Tattoo shop in Woodbridge, Connecticut, on a Thursday afternoon. Kelsey, an 18-year-old high school senior, was grieving over the loss of her beloved black cat, and wanted to memorialize their companionship. “I want to do something of sentimental value but I’m scared of it not coming out the way I like,” said Kelsey, 18, who did not wish to give her last name. She’s part of a growing trend. Body modification, especially professional tattooing, has become more popular in recent years.

After Denials, Army Veteran Exposed To Toxic Burn Pit Smoke Gets His Disability Benefits

After being rejected twice, a Connecticut Army veteran has been awarded federal disability benefits for terminal brain cancer he contends was caused by exposure to open burn pits in Afghanistan. Peter Antioho, 33, of Berlin, had to walk daily through heavy smoke emanating from burn pits as he performed his job as second in command on his base in 2012. A variety of items, including human and animal waste, plastic, ammunition and batteries were burned with diesel fuel 24 hours a day in open pits. He was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme brain cancer two years ago. (The Conn.

Conversation With Your Doc May Be The Best—And Most Elusive—Medicine

When doctors and patients communicate well, research shows that patients are more likely to follow treatments, recover more quickly and are less likely to be the victims of medical errors. But with an average office visit of just 18 minutes and an increasingly complex variety of diagnostic and therapeutic options, good communication may be modern medicine’s final frontier. In this podcast, sponsored by ConnectiCare, Dr. Juan Estrada, medical director of Sanitas Medical Centers and Lisa Freeman, director of  the Conn. Center for Patient Safety, provide tips on how to communicate with your doctor. A recent patient survey by ConnectiCare found that patients generally rated communication with their doctors highly, but there were concerning gaps.

Doctors, Clinician Team Up For C-HIT Forum On Stress, Mindfulness

There’s no denying it: most of us are stressed. Stress levels in the country are at their highest in at least a decade, research shows, and a recent American Psychological Association (APA) study found two-thirds of respondents feel stressed about the future. To learn about the leading sources of stress, how stress affects your health and how to reduce stress, the Connecticut Health I-Team will host a community forum, “Getting Ahead of Stress: A Primer on Medicine, Mental Health and Mindfulness,’’ from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 5, at the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University, 370 Bassett Road in North Haven. The free event is open to the public and you can register here.

Join Us for A Free Community Forum, Thursday, October 5

Getting Ahead of Stress: A Primer on Medicine, Mental Health and Mindfulness
Presented by Connecticut Health I-Team (C-HIT) 

Thursday, October 5
5-7:30 p.m.
Panel discussion begins at 6 p.m.
Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University, auditorium
370 Bassett Road, North Haven, CT 06473
Free Parking

Pre-registration is closed. Walk-ins Welcome. Recent surveys have reported that stress levels in the U.S. are at
their highest in at least a decade, with the American Psychological
Association reporting that a full two-thirds of respondents to its recent
survey were stressed out about the nation’s future. Our free, unique Community Forum—targeted to people of all ages who are
looking for ways to reduce stress– will bring a range of experts’ perspectives to
the growing phenomenon of stress, in hopes of detangling the physical and
psychological factors that are fueling an age of worry. For sponsorship information: 2017 C-HIT Community Forum Sponsorship Opportunities.

Clinicians, Experts Team Up for C-HIT Forum On Women’s Addiction, Recovery

Connecticut has seen a continued rise in opioid-related addiction among women, with more than 420 women dying of drug overdoses in 2015 and 2016. To address the crisis and stir community discussion about prevention, intervention and treatment, the Conn. Health I-Team, in collaboration with Wheeler Clinic, will host a free community forum, “Working Women: The New Face of Addiction,” from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on April 6 at the New Britain Museum of American Art, 56 Lexington St., New Britain. The event is open to the public. Register here.

Task Force Proposed To Study ‘Custody For Care’ Concerns

The legislature’s Committee on Children has proposed creating a task force to study the state’s so-called “custody for care” controversy, in place of a bill that would have barred the Department of Children and Families (DCF) from pushing parents to relinquish custody when seeking inpatient mental health treatment for their children. If approved, the task force would study the issue of why DCF takes over custody of children in some cases in which parents cannot meet their children’s severe behavioral health needs in a home setting. C-HIT has reported that the state uses “uncared for/specialized needs” petitions to take children into DCF custody in cases where parents argue for inpatient treatment or refuse to take their children home from hospital emergency rooms, for fear they will harm themselves, siblings or others. While DCF officials have said that custody relinquishment is used rarely, judicial department data show the state has used the petitions to take custody of more than 860 children over five years – or an average of three children a week. A bill drafted by state Rep. Rosa Rebimbas, R-Naugatuck, prompted by an October C-HIT story, would have prohibited DCF from “requesting or requiring” that parents relinquish their custodial rights when seeking specialized mental health treatment for their children.