Morgan True

Morgan True

Morgan True is VTDigger's health care reporter. A Seattle native, he graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism before working for several publications in Massachusetts. He came to VTDigger in December 2013 from The Brockton Daily Enterprise, where he covered government, schools and hospitals in a city of about 100,000 people. Before joining The Enterprise, he worked for The Associated Press in Concord, N.H., where he served as a relief reporter in the Statehouse. He previously worked for The Quincy (Mass.) Patriot Ledger and as an intern at the Worcester (Mass.) Telegram & Gazette. Many eyes are on Vermont as it moves toward universal health care coverage in 2017 and he is excited to be on the front lines.

Email: [email protected]

Homepage: http://www.vtdigger.org

    State awards $2.6 million in health care reform grants

    The Shumlin Administration has announced $2.6 million in health care reform grants to seven organizations. The grants, fevealed on Friday, will support initiatives to align doctor and hospital payments with quality outcomes, increase coordination within the health care system and create an interoperable electronic medical records system to support the sharing of patient information across organizations. […]

    Feds extend support for program that helps seniors stay healthy

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    The extension is good news for the Support and Services at Home program (SASH), which has shown positive results in maintaining the health of senior Vermonters. Its future remains in doubt because a new Medicare program may reduce its client base.

    Health care exchange backlog reduced, but many cases still unresolved

    VHC down new

    Vermont Health Connect is making strides in reducing a backlog in change requests, but thousands more remain in the queue. VHC is trying to clear the backlog before Nov. 15, when a new open enrollment period begins.

    Senate candidate sparks controversy with Burma Shave signs

    Sen. Mark MacDonald, D-Orange, and Republican challenger Robert Frenier appear at a forum Tuesday in Randolph. Photo by Morgan True/VTDigger

    Orange County Republican Bob Frenier has put up 24 road signs in the style of the old Burma Shave ads. Some claim that seniors could see Medicare changes under single-payer health care. Democrats say the signs are wrong, and accuse Frenier of fearmongering.

    Vermont opens state-of-the-art public health laboratory

    An exam room at the new state Health Department laboratory in Colchester. Photo by Morgan True/VTDigger

    The $31 million lab will house public health workers and UVM researchers, allowing for sharing of information and ideas. It will replace the state’s current lab, which is outdated and too small, officials say.

    Health officials: VT Ebola case highly unlikely, but state is prepared

    The Ebola virus. Photo courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    Trainings for health care providers emphasize asking patients about travel history and use of personal protective gear.

    State employee health plan premiums to increase 17.9 percent

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    State officials blame “greater than expected” high cost claims and premature “premium holidays” for wiping out an anticipated $30 million surplus as well as millions in reserve funds.

    CMS survey reveals near drowning in Brattleboro Retreat’s adolescent unit

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    The incident happened on the Tyler 3 adolescent unit, where there have been two suicide attempts in the last six months

    Low reimbursements threaten Blueprint for Health despite promising results

    A nurse bandages a patient at Central Vermont Medical Center

    The state’s Blueprint for Health program is reducing health care costs by strengthening preventive care; but low payment rates could mean trouble for Blueprint in the near future. Lawmakers are considering raising those rates, but acknowledge it will be difficult in the current budget climate.

    Auditor slams state’s failure to track social service contracts  

    State Auditor Doug Hoffer. Photo by Roger Crowley/for VTDigger

    Doug Hoffer says the Agency of Human Services doesn’t always compare contractual requirements with services actually delivered by nonprofit contractors. As a result, he says, “the state cannot ensure that clients are receiving the services they need and the public is paying for.”

    Colleges, business groups lobby against budget cuts

    Woodruff Hall. Wikipedia image.

    State holds first of two public hearing on proposed cuts in the FY 2016 budget. Social services up next on Oct. 28.

    State signs $14.3 million expansion of Optum’s exchange contract

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    The total amount Optum can earn is $29.4 million on a contract that currently runs through the end of January 2015.

    Sanders, VA secretary to talk careers at UVM, Dartmouth-Hitchcock

    Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., will be joined by U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald on Monday to speak with students at the University of Vermont College of Medicine about careers with the VA. A new federal law has drawn billions of dollars in funding into the VA to support increase residency slots at […]

    Federal law raises questions about who can bid for IT projects that support the exchange

    Vermont Health Connect feature

    The same provision may interfere with Hewlett-Packard’s plan to hire Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont as a subcontractor on a state health IT project.

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