Green Mountain Care Board

Green Mountain Care Board Chairman Kevin Mullin says the state needs to attach tighter strings to public money being received by Vermont Information Technology Leaders.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR File

The chairman of the Green Mountain Care Board says he wants to see “meaningful changes” in “staff and operations” at the private organization creating electronic medical records for the Vermont health care system.

Green Mountain Care Board Chairman Kevin Mullin says the state needs to attach tighter strings to public money being received by Vermont Information Technology Leaders.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR File

The Green Mountain Care Board recently released detailed financial information for hospital administrators and top-paid physicians throughout the state. The report shows that the average pay for hospital CEOs was roughly $600,000, and in some cases, large bonuses were also paid out.

Vermont's shortage of primary care doctors will soon get worse because a number of them will retire in the next few years.
shironosov / iStock

Many states across the country have a need to attract more primary care physicians, but Vermont's situation has an additional twist - a sizeable number of the state's primary care doctors are expected to retire in the next few years.

Green Mountain Care Board Chairman Kevin Mullin says the state needs to attach tighter strings to public money being received by Vermont Information Technology Leaders.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR File

State regulators have ratcheted down the premium increases sought by the Vermont’s largest private health insurer, but one key official says rate hikes for next year’s plans will still be “ridiculously high.”

Chief Health Care Advocate Mike Fisher, center, is urging state regulators to reject the 12.6 percent premium increase being sought by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR/file

Consumer pushback against proposed rate hikes for health insurance premiums might persuade state regulators to lower the increases, according to Vermont's chief health care advocate.

Green Mountain Surgery Center in Colchester will be Vermont's first independent surgical center. State regulators have approved construction of the facility despite protest from nonprofit hospitals.
xmee / iStock

State regulators have approved construction of what would be Vermont’s first independent surgical center, despite protests from nonprofit hospitals who say the venture will siphon needed revenue away from their operating rooms.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont has asked Vermont regulators to approve a 12.7 percent rate increase for insurance coverage starting in 2018, and MVP is requesting a 6.7 percent increase in rates.

Senate lawmakers voted unanimously Thursday to confirm Robin Lunge to the Green Mountain Care Board, despite legal concerns from Gov. Phil Scott that her appointment may have been tainted by a clerical error.

Toby Talbot / AP file

An apparent clerical error by the administration of former Gov. Peter Shumlin has jeopardized the tenure of one of his highest-profile appointments to the Green Mountain Care Board.

The Green Mountain Care Board on Wednesday approved a plan that will dramatically change how health care providers are reimbursed in Vermont.

The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a ruling that could stall health care reform efforts in the Green Mountains.

Toby Talbot / AP

State officials say they're hopeful that a new health care payment system can be in place at the beginning of next year. The proposal is designed to reimburse providers to keep their patients healthy and to encourage the expansion of primary care practices.

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The Green Mountain Care Board oversees the state's effort to overhaul Vermont's health care system. There is one physician who serves on that board, and he says Vermont is approaching a crisis in primary care.

Dr. Allan Ramsay explains why and discusses some of the options that the state must weigh to deal with the problem.

grecosvet / iStock.com

Big data is all the rage these days, especially in the world of health care. And as Vermont looks to compile a massive repository of insurance claims information, it’s become a legal testing ground for the future of health reform nationally. 

Bob Kinzel / VPR file

State officials say the likely demise of a single payer health care system doesn't mean that the 2015 Legislature won't take significant steps to make health care more accessible and more affordable for many Vermonters. 

Now that Gov. Peter Shumlin has decided not to pursue a single payer health care plan in 2015, the development of a comprehensive payment reform system will likely become one of the top priorities in the coming year. Some state officials think this plan could have a major impact on efforts to control future health care costs.

A new study shows a wide variation in how much Vermont's primary care physicians are paid for basic service. The information could play a key role in the development of a comprehensive payment reform system in the future.  


While the Legislature next year is likely to focus on a financing plan for a single payer system, the chairman of the Green Mountain Care Board Al Gobeille says "job number one" is bringing the cost of health care much closer to the rate of inflation.  

In the middle of January, Gov. Peter Shumlin is scheduled to unveil his long awaited plan to finance a single payer health care system and lawmakers will review the proposal during the session.

For the second year in a row, the projected budget growth for Vermont’s 14 hospitals is well under recent trends.  

While the growth in budgets varies from hospital to hospital, the Green Mountain Care Board has given its approval to an overall statewide increase of 3.1 percent. Last year, the growth rate was 2.7 percent.

Green Mountain Care Board chairman Al Gobeille says the growth in hospital budgets over the past two years is less than half of what it was between 2008 and 2012.

violetkaipa / Thinkstock

Vermont's auditor wants the state to develop a database that will allow consumers to compare prices charged by hospitals and doctors. Over the last seven years, a program known as the Vermont Health Care Uniform Reporting and Evaluation System has compiled a database of virtually all health care claims made in the state.

The database is a digital catalog of all fees and services that insurance companies, as well as Medicaid and Medicare, have paid out for Vermont residents. 

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