Health Care

VTDigger publishes daily stories on health care. We cover the state’s hospitals, the state’s psychiatric care system, the Green Mountain Care Board, insurers, state health care policy, Medicaid and Medicare. Erin Mansfield is VTDigger’s health care reporter. She can be reached at [email protected]

State cancels procurement on two health care tech projects

They were to be part of a $771 million suite of IT projects intended to interact with technology that underpins Vermont Health Connect.

New analysis looking at causes of Vermont Health Connect woes

The exchange’s operations manager says a report is expected in a few weeks, while the chair of the House Health Care Committee also wants to hear more about alternatives to the state exchange.

Porter Medical Center lays off 16 after losing $11 million

The organization in Middlebury says its network of doctors’ offices has been losing money, but there are open positions in other parts of the operation.

Vermont Health Connect backlog larger than previously reported

The Shumlin administration said last week that the backlog of pending changes to customer accounts peaked at 5,700.

UVM sheds light on beating winter blues

A groundbreaking $2 million study finds that promoting a positive mindset is a longer-lasting solution than full-spectrum bulbs for the estimated 10 percent of Vermonters facing seasonal affective disorder.

Top Vermont doctors warn lawmakers more health data is needed before legalizing pot

A group of Vermont doctors criticized lawmakers this week for misinterpreting marijuana studies. Dr. David Rettew, a UVM Medical School professor, said lawmakers are getting the wrong message from mischaracterizations of studies about marijuana. “They are flawed, like all scientific studies, but they definitely should not be dismissed,” he said. Rettaw said flaws in a […]

Independent doctors wary of provider tax, all-payer

Nearly a dozen family doctors, dentists, and representatives for community health centers testified Wednesday. Doctors said they would have to take the proposed provider tax out of their own paychecks.

Neuroscientist adds voice to warnings about legal pot

Dr. Bertha Madras pointed to research showing adverse impacts on brain development for young marijuana users and said potential tax revenue for drug abuse programs would not be enough to contain the public health fallout from an increase in use.

Tobacco ban at residential treatment centers deters clients

A policy intended to curb smoking at residential drug treatment centers in Vermont has caused some people to leave the program or choose not to start.

Hearings to explore problems, future of health exchange

Lawmakers on the House Health Care Committee will continue their oversight of the embattled Vermont Health Connect with public hearings every Wednesday.

Davis: The all-payer gambit

The state is looking for a $20 million to $30 million bump in Medicare payments. The whole effort, however, is fraught with difficulties. Shumlin and Gobeille are trying to bring public pressure into what has been a private negotiation.

As provider tax becomes clearer, opposition lines up

The tax is expected to generate about $17 million a year — more than $10 million from physicians and $6 million from dentists. The administration says the revenue would be pumped back into the health care system, supporting Medicaid, primary care and dental services.

State unveils draft of deal with feds for health system overhaul

Under what’s called the all-payer model, the state will seek to limit health care spending growth to 3.5 percent a year for five years and to stop paying doctors and hospitals based on how many procedures they perform.

Vermont providers hope federal opiate treatment bill will advance

As the opiate epidemic deepens in Vermont and nationwide, local health care providers are hoping Congress will change federal laws that limit their ability to prescribe recovery drugs.

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