Hospital costs rising, but not as fast as some requested

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State regulators have approved rate increases requested by five Vermont hospitals, while trimming the increases sought by the other nine.

The highest percentage increase approved was for Northwestern Medical Center in St. Albans, which was given permission to collect 10.5 percent more during the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. It had requested a 13 percent hike.

Vermont’s largest hospital, Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, put in for a smaller budget boost than it received in either of the past two years, but the state Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration shrunk it further.

Fletcher Allen requested an $821 million budget, a 6.5 percent increase; it was granted a 5.5 percent increase.

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