Two years ago, lawmakers endowed a five-person panel with the power to
tell doctors how much they can charge patients for health care services.
Now, some physicians with private practices say the rate-setting
authority could put them out of business.
Doctor Elliott Fisher, the new director of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice talks with Vermont Edition about some of the inherent problems in how health care is delivered.
Vermont is poised to become the first state in the country to
tell people without health insurance how much they can pay for coverage through
the federal Affordable Care Act when it begins offering benefits next year.
The Green Mountain Care Board has
established budget targets for Vermont’s
14 hospitals that will add as much as $85 million to the $2.1 billion that is
budgeted for the current fiscal year. The actual amount of new money will
depend on a series of board decisions on individual hospital budgets before the
new fiscal year begins on Oct. 1. The minimum new money would be $64 million.
The Green Mountain Care Board is
moving steadily toward establishment of a modestly credible budget inflation
limit for the Vermont’s 14
hospitals for the coming fiscal year, a performance that would keep Gov. Peter
Shumlin’s health reform initiative on track. But some troubling portents have
showed up in the process so far.
The Green Mountain Care Board has set forth a tentative target inflation
rate of 4 percent for Vermont’s
14 hospitals for the coming fiscal year, a target that would add about $85
million to the current statewide spending level of $2.136 billion. The final
system increase will depend on the board’s decisions on the individual