Health Care

Last year, Canada's Supreme Court overturned the country's ban on doctor-assisted suicide. Advocates for a patient's right to choose to end their own lives with a physician's help applauded the ruling. But they have been waiting since then for the federal government to issue a new law that spells out the conditions for which seriously ill or dying Canadians can ask for a doctor's help to end their lives.

Nina Keck / VPR

Despite the introduction of electronic medical records, pharmacists say they are often out of the loop when it comes to knowing if their patients' medications have been changed. Partly that’s a technology glitch. But many pharmacists complain that despite their expertise they’re not considered providers so most hospitals don’t allow them access to patients' electronic records. 

But at Beauchamp and O’Rourke, a family owned pharmacy in Rutland, managing pharmacist Marty Irons wants to change that.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR file

Vermont Commissioner of Health Harry Chen is urging federal officials to alter medical guidelines that might be contributing to the state’s opiate abuse problem.

Nina Keck / VPR

Nearly 60 percent of Americans are taking prescription drugs – the highest percentage ever – and more than half of those 65 and older are taking five to nine medications. With all those pills in our medicine cabinets, it's no surprise that medication mix-ups are on the rise.

When I was a little girl living in Pennsylvania, my dentist, Dr. Miller, was a curmudgeon. If he happened to spot you in the local diner about to stick your fork into a piece of pie, he would whisk away the dessert plate and replace it with a piece of fruit.

Vermont Health Connect screen shot

According to a federal report, Vermont is one of three states that have experienced security problems with their health care exchanges. But the Shumlin Administration says these problems were fixed more than a year ago.

Vermont Health Connect screen shot

Federal investigators found significant cybersecurity weaknesses in the health insurance websites of California, Kentucky and Vermont that could enable hackers to get their hands on sensitive personal information on hundreds of thousands of people.

Angela Evancie / VPR/file

The Vermont House has given strong tri-partisan support to a plan that calls for an independent review of Vermont Health Connect, the state's health care exchange.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

House leaders are calling for a comprehensive independent assessment of Vermont Health Connect, the state's health care exchange, to determine the best way to provide coverage to Vermonters in the future.

But the Shumlin administration says the study isn't needed.


Results from a new study run by researchers at the University of Vermont and Johns Hopkins University show big strides in the development of a vaccine for the dengue virus. To learn more about this study released March 16, VPR's Mitch Wertlieb and Kathleen Masterson spoke with the research team at UVM on Friday.  

Melody Bodette / VPR

The CEO of Porter Medical Center in Middlebury resigned Friday.

Lynn Boggs told staff in an email that she submitted her resignation to the board of directors, adding that it was a challenging time for the organization and she wished them well.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

A key House committee has given the go ahead to legislation that would raise taxes and fees on Vermonters by $48 million next year. Democratic leaders say they need the money to bring revenues in line with spending, but critics of the plan say they should have cut the budget instead.

CSA-Printstock /

Starting next year, Vermont will require employers to offer employees paid time off to take care of themselves or their family members if they're sick or have a medical appointment.

We read over the new law to find the answers to a few questions Vermonters might have.

Kathleen Masterson / VPR

Gov. Peter Shumlin's ambitious plan to have Vermont become the first single-payer health care state in the U.S. never materialized, but in a quieter way, the health care system in Vermont is changing.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Vermont has become the fifth state in the nation to enact legislation that requires businesses to provide their workers with paid sick leave.

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

Emily Alfin Johnson / VPR

The VPR Poll put some of the biggest questions facing Vermont to ... Vermonters. Novel, huh? They told us a lot.

Melody Bodette / VPR

Porter Medical Center in Middlebury has laid off eight registered nurses. The small community hospital has lost $11 million since 2012. 

Screenshot of the Vermont Health Connect website

The Shumlin administration is hitting the reset button on a massive information technology overhaul at the Agency of Human Services. Administration officials say they’ll hire an outside consultant to conduct an extensive review of the state of digital affairs, and the assessment could also help determine the fate of Vermont Health Connect.

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.