The process of transforming Vermont's health care system will continue in 2013, but no major legislative action is likely.
It was expected the legislature would begin discussing funding mechanisms for a single-payer system this session, but the governor now says that won't happen until next year. In the meantime, the Green Mountain Care Board has the immediate task of implementing the federally-required health exchange by the end of the year, while still working toward the further transformation to single-payer in 2017. That work involves determining what kind of care will be available to Vermont patients, finding a balance between cost and service.
State Senator Rich Westman (R-Lamoille County) is on the board at Copley Hospital in Morrisville. He worries regulators may decide to strip the small hospital of its orthopedic center. "Ultimately I think, the underpinnings of what people would like to do is to move all the high-end services to the larger hospitals. Well if you do that and you only leave us with an emergency room, delivering babies and things like that, we can't put together a budget because the payment reimbursement for those things is too low," he said.
Sen.Westman said one of the biggest hurdle health care reformers will face is striking that balance between controlling costs and limiting the availability of services.
Friday, March 7 2014 11:46 AM EST2014-03-07 16:46:45 GMT
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