Legislators ask for second review of CVH application

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(Host) Over a dozen Washington County lawmakers want state health care regulators to re-examine a local hospital project.

Elizabeth Costle is the commissioner of Banking Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration. The legislators want her to approve a $12 million renovation project at Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin. Last year, Costle denied the application, even though a citizen’s review panel recommended its approval.

Now the Washington County lawmakers say a growing scandal at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington should prompt Costle to review the issue. State and federal authorities are investigating allegations that Fletcher Allen deliberately misled regulators about the hospital’s $55 million parking garage.

Washington County Republican Senator Bill Doye says the state has set a double standard in regulating smaller hospitals.

(Doyle) “Total double standard. And I don’t know whether it’s by design or if it’s by happenstance, but most Vermonters like to see the laws applied equally. There’s not a person in Washington County who thinks the law’s been applied equally. There’s one law for Fletcher Allen; there’s another kind of approach for Central Vermont Hospital.”

(Host) Central Vermont Hospital has appealed its case to the state Supreme Court. Costle has said the application was rejected because it would add to health care costs.

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