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Updated: October 5, 2020 2020 Power 25 — Health Care

Health Power 25: 25. Ellen Andrews

In the insider world of state healthcare policy, where obscure committees help direct new payment models or evaluate hopelessly complex topics to help guide lawmakers, it can be tough to find someone who doesn’t have some kind of financial interest in the matter at hand.

Ellen Andrews, Executive Director, Connecticut Health Policy Project

Ellen Andrews has long been an exception to that rule.

As the executive director of the nonprofit Connecticut Health Policy Project, which is focused on improving health care for all residents, Andrews has been unafraid to be a thorn in the sides of state and industry officials alike when she senses that regular consumers, particularly low-income Medicaid patients, are getting short shrift.

A mix of journalist, advocate, and subject-matter expert, with a human genetics doctorate from Yale to boot, Andrews pays attention where the ever-shrinking local media often doesn’t even know to look. The Health Policy Project’s email blasts, as well as Andrews op-eds for, alert readers to problems with Connecticut health care they may never have known about.

A $45-million, multi-year grant from the federal government for healthcare innovation? Andrews wrote that Connecticut mostly wasted it, and she accused industry stakeholders of being more concerned with getting a piece of the pie than with working together.

An ongoing effort to establish a healthcare cost benchmark has been another recent target for Andrews, who has detailed concerns that cost reductions could be deliberately targeted toward low-margin or money-losing essential services like psychiatric or primary care.

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