State Healthcare Advocate Victoria Veltri said her office was able to save Connecticut consumers $2.54 million on the cost of healthcare services, procedures, and claims in just the first quarter of 2013.

That’s about $100,000 more than it saved consumers in the second quarter of 2012.

The $2.54 million in savings includes successful appeals of several high-dollar value, complex mental health treatment denials of medically necessary inpatient psychiatric care for adolescents, according to a press release.

In addition, the office has teamed up with the Department of Children and Families to make sure children with parents that have private health coverage are covered under that private plan before the state starts paying for services.

The Office of Healthcare Advocate opened 1,577 cases in the first quarter of the year and closed 1,685. It also released a comprehensive report on barriers to mental health and substance abuse treatments, conducted 63 outreach events and a webinar on the Affordable Care Act, and launched an outreach program in anticipation of enrollment in the insurance exchange.

“With health reform evolving, and open enrollment for the Exchange and Medicaid expansion imminent, the demand for the kind of services we provide, which range from consumer education and assistance in selecting a plan to direct advocacy in the appeal process, will skyrocket,” Veltri said.

In the near future, “OHA is expected to receive a substantial number of referrals for consumer assistance beyond its existing case volume.”