Health Care

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

In recent years, Vermont has dramatically increased the number of people receiving Medicaid benefits, and it’s resulted in this state having one of the lowest rates of uninsured residents in the nation. The problem is that it’s costing a lot more than elected officials previously estimated, and the governor’s new plan to cover the deficit isn’t sitting well with independent physicians.

Nina Keck / VPR

Voters in Rutland will be asked whether or not they want the city to continue adding fluoride to municipal water. Dentists and state experts tout decades of improved oral health, but opponents believe possible negative effects are being brushed aside.

Angela Evancie / VPR

Six of Vermont's largest physician organizations are urging the Legislature not to legalize marijuana this year.

Nina Keck / VPR

Rutland Regional Medical Center is undertaking a $6 million expansion of its emergency room to meet growing demand and the changing needs of patients.

Bob Kinzel / VPR

      

The Shumlin Administration has unveiled the framework of a plan that will completely change how health care providers are paid in Vermont.

Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / Times Argus

Gov. Peter Shumlin delivered his sixth and final budget proposal to the Legislature Thursday afternoon. The plan calls for a 3 percent increase in spending and raises roughly $30 million in new taxes.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Any day now, the Shumlin administration will unveil the proposed terms of a federal waiver that could overhaul the health care system in Vermont. But community-based providers say they’re feeling iced out of the negotiations, and they’re asking lawmakers to make sure they have a prominent seat at the bargaining table.

Courtesy of Tom McNeill Photography

Mt.  Ascutney Hospital could face federal sanctions after an unannounced site survey from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services uncovered patient care and restraint issues.

kmlmtz66 / iStock

Lawmakers and administration officials abandoned their push for a single-payer health care system over a year ago. Advocates of a publicly funded program haven’t given up on the concept, however, and a new report could re-ignite a debate over whether to socialize portions of the health care system in Vermont.

Bob Kinzel / VPR

Gov. Peter Shumlin says he won't ask the Legislature to raise taxes to pay for an expansion of the Medicaid program.

hh5800 / iStock

Last week, Congress delayed the imposition of a tax on expensive health care policies. Vermont state officials praised the move, but warned the tax will take effect eventually.

Andy Duback / AP

Vermont’s Speaker of the House Shap Smith has been speaking out recently about a painful personal issue that forced him to abandon his campaign for governor of Vermont: his wife Melissa’s recent breast cancer diagnosis. 

That reality has led not just to a suspended political campaign, but to a call to expand and simplify health care coverage for Vermonters. And Smith isn't pulling any punches about his frustrations with the current health care system. 

Valeriya / iStock

Single-payer is becoming a distant memory, but Gov. Peter Shumlin continues to push for a massive overhaul of Vermont’s health care system. And hospitals and doctors are worried that there won’t be enough money in the new system to provide the care Vermonters need.

Bob Kinzel / VPR

The future funding of Vermont's Medicaid program will be one of the biggest issues facing lawmakers during the upcoming Legislative session. On Monday, the House Appropriations Committee started its review of this ever-expanding program.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

It’s been almost a year since Gov. Peter Shumlin abandoned his push for single-payer health care. But the fight for a publicly-funded health care system continues, and House Speaker Shap Smith is now eyeing universal care for a large subset of Vermont’s population.

In Vermont and across the nation the vast majority of doctors offices and hospitals have been undergoing a shift from paper to electronic medical records. But the challenge is that many of these software systems don't actually talk to each other.

Charlotte Albright / VPR

Joyce Dobbertin, a physician at Corner Medical, a large rural primary care practice in Lyndonville, is a big fan of electronic medical records. In fact, about 15 years ago, when Corner Medical’s office burned down, she saw an opportunity rise from the ashes, as a fellow physician looked at the flames in horror.

Charlotte Albright / VPR

If you’ve had a medical appointment lately, you’ve probably seen your provider peering at your medical history on a computer. Many doctors and patients are happy that paper records are giving way to digital information. But there are concerns that electronic health records can be hacked, and that physicians are now spending too much time with computers and not enough with patients. 

Toby Talbot / AP/file

The Brattleboro Retreat is asking the state to support a renovation of the hospital's adolescent unit.

Charlotte Albright / VPR

Going to the dentist can be expensive. And under the Affordable Care Act, Vermonters have increased access to insurance for dental services, including Medicaid. But many dentists do not accept new Medicaid patients.

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