Health Care

The Vermont House has approved a bill that would make all employees eligible for six weeks of paid leave at 80 percent of their salary.

Millard Cox, of Ripton, speaks at a public hearing in the Vermont Statehouse in January. Cox is among the health care reform advocates urging the Legislature to adopt a publicly funded system for universal primary care.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

It’s been more than three years since then-Gov. Peter Shumlin abandoned his pledge to create a universal health care system in Vermont, but advocates are working this session to reignite the embers of the single-payer flame.

Former first lady Barbara Bush’s announcement that she was opting for “comfort care” in lieu of treatment for the chronic diseases that would end her life certainly got people’s attention.

Brattleboro Memorial Hospital settled claims made under the federal False Claims Act.
Brattleboro Memorial Hospital / BMH

Vermont's U.S. Attorney says Brattleboro Memorial Hospital allegedly submitted bills to Medicare and Medicaid without the proper documentation.

Kevin Daignault (center) and his team at Mass General. Daignault's operation was the hospital's 500th heart transplant.
Massachusetts General Hospital, courtesy

Massachusetts General Hospital performed its first heart transplant in 1985, and in late December, a Swanton man became the hospital's 500th heart transplant patient.

For four years, terminally ill patients in Vermont have been able to seek a doctor's help in hastening their death. In that time, 29 Vermonters have taken the patient choice prescription.
Pamela Moore / iStock

It's been four years since Vermont started allowing terminally ill patients to seek the help of a doctor to end their own lives. We're looking at how patient choice at the end of life is working in our state, and how Vermonters have used the program since it began in 2013.

President Trump’s nominee for the director of Health and Human Services is Alex Azar, formerly head of Eli Lily Company, one of America’s largest producers of pharmaceuticals.

The Green Mountain Care Board has approved a proposal that it hopes will revolutionize how health care providers are reimbursed in Vermont.

Vermont Secretary of Human Services Al Gobeille, pictured here in Sept. 2017
Bob Kinzel / VPR File

The Scott Administration says it's concerned Congress will not fully fund two important health care programs in the coming year. If it doesn't the state may have to find the money to put into the programs.

Jewelene Griffin, with Central Vermont Home Health & Hospice, has been giving community presentations to spread awareness about the availability of hospice services.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Hospice care is gaining in popularity nationally, but Vermonters have been slow to embrace the trend. So one local hospice agency is trying to change the way people here think about death and dying.

State officials are ramping up their outreach efforts to alert Vermonters that this Friday is the deadline to sign up for the Affordable Care Act
crazydiva / iStock

The additional outreach efforts are taking place because the overall enrollment period this year for the Affordable Care Act is much shorter than past years — ending on Friday.

Chief Health Care Advocate Mike Fisher, center, says a new "calculator," developed by his office, will spotlight  the financial hardships faced by Vermont families trying to buy health insurance.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR/file

As chief health care advocate for the state of Vermont, Mike Fisher spends a lot of time thinking about rising medical costs. And he’s trying a new way to put the issue of affordability at the forefront of the health care debate.

Greg Nesbit / SWVMC

The Vermont Medical Society has dropped its opposition to the state's "death with dignity" law.

Sen. Bernie Sanders says he will announce his re-election plans on Monday
Charlie Neibergall / AP

Sen. Bernie Sanders wants to make his "Medicare for all" health care plan a top priority for the Democrats in the 2018 elections. But a number of moderate Democrats worry this approach will hurt their chances of winning seats in Congress next year.

State officials say Vermont Health Connect has resolved many of its techincal issues
Screenshot of the Vermont Health Connect website

Officials say the technical problems at Vermont Health Connect have been largely resolved as the health exchange's open enrollment period begins on Wednesday.

Joyce Manchester, a senior economist at the Legislative Joint Fiscal Office says the end of federal subsidies under the Affodable Care Act should not affect the benefits that 12 thousand Vermonters receive from this program
Bob Kinzel / VPR

Last week, President Donald Trump announced that his administration was going to terminate federal subsidies that are paid to health insurance companies under the Affordable Care Act.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Two Townshend doctors are changing their practice over to a direct primary care model, where patients will pay a flat monthly fee for unlimited primary care. The Vermont doctors hope it will address the challenges of a changing health care insurance industry.

In 2015, there were more than 52,000 drug overdose deaths in just that year. In 2016, it's estimated that number will be exceeded by 10,000 more.

I’m what they call a “woman of childbearing age,” which means that every day, my ability and choice to or not to procreate is on my mind.

Green Mountain Care Board chairman Kevin Mullin is hopeful that a new payment reform plan wll help control future health care costs in Vermont
Bob Kinzel / VPR

The head of the Green Mountain Care Board is calling on Congress to restore the individual subsidies to the Affordable Care Act that have been eliminated by President Donald Trump.

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