By linking Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., five rural health centers and 14 Vermont hospitals, care providers are creating a new model for serving 42,000 of Vermont's nearly 120,000 Medicare patients. The association, known as OneCare Vermont, aims to provide quality care, while making sure patients aren't subjected to the same costly tests over and over again.
"I think that everybody has realized that we cannot do this by ourselves, no one organization, no one group of providers can do this by ourselves," said Dr. John Butterly of Dartmouth-Hitchcock.
"What we're all about is trying to reach the goal of the highest quality, most accessible, most affordable health care possible for Vermonters," said Dr. John Brumsted of Fletcher Allen.
Over the next six months, the linked providers will begin sharing data, such as patient records. Until that's done, we don't know what the reform will look like.
"We intend to let the data take us where the opportunities for improvement are," said Todd Moore, the CEO of OneCare.
Federal health reform calls for Accountable Care Organizations. Physicians will still be reimbursed as they are today, but any annual savings over Medicare cost estimates would be split between Medicare and an ACO. The goal is to begin budgeting dollars to care for a set number of patients rather than the current "fee for service" system.
Early on, spokespeople say the new model will likely be a blend of the two.
"We're in this together, we will either succeed together or we'll fail together," Butterly said.
Health care providers say renewed emphasis on preventative medicine can improve care while lowering costs. They'll have a few years to make it work, before dollars are truly at stake.
Middlebury's Porter Medical Center is the only Vermont hospital not to take part in the statewide ACO. Spokespeople told legislators they plan to in the future, but are currently too busy with electronic medical records work to take on another challenge.
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:21 AM EST2014-03-08 15:21:27 GMT
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries. They were injured while fighting a at the Bennett Farm on Route 15 on the Johnson-Cambridge town line. The fire started in a shed around 7:30 FridayMore >>
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:42 GMT
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury. They immediately took to Facebook after hearing about this fire and started planning to collectMore >>
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:05 GMT
Reporter: "What are some of the most common burn injuries that we see with kids coming into the hospital?" Jim Esdon, Dartmouth Hitchcock Injury Prevention Center: "This time of year, the glass frontedMore >>
We've had another cold week that's left homeowners cranking the heat. But what does that mean for kids' safety?More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:19 AM EST2014-03-08 15:19:21 GMT
Armed with just two L rods, 87-year-old John Wayne Blassingame starts looking for water by asking yes or no questions. "Does it go past 20 feet, does it go past 30 feet, yah," he says. The rods crossingMore >>
A national organization based in Danville says it is providing resources to people in desperate need to find water.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:31 AM EST2014-03-08 13:31:36 GMT
The Governor is traveling to Rhode Island Saturday. His office says Governor Peter Shumlin will be at Brown University in Providence taking part in a forum with the Rhode Island Governor. While theMore >>
The Governor is traveling to Rhode Island Saturday. More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:17 AM EST2014-03-08 13:17:30 GMT
We have some ideas for your Saturday. IRISH FESTIVAL The 19th annual Burlington Irish Heritage Festival kicks off today. There is a lecture about the role of Irish immigrants in the Civil War at theMore >>
Friday, March 7 2014 7:28 PM EST2014-03-08 00:28:44 GMT
Williston Police say, the powder was from a generic prescription medication. They say, the man was from Burlington and had the paperwork in his pocket with his medicine and that's how it got on there. More >>
Williston Police say, the powder was from a generic prescription medication. They say, the man was from Burlington and had the paperwork in his pocket with his medicine and that's how it got on there.More >>