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. Morgan True is VTDigger’s health care reporter. He can be reached at [email protected]

Federal changes put pressure on Vermont cost-sharing subsidies in exchange health plans

Creative Commons photo by jasleen_kaur via Flickr.

New plan designs likely to increase out-of-pocket costs for many in VHC exchange .

Gifford nursing home set to open in May

Joe Woodin

The Menig Extended Care Facility will move to a 30-acre property in Randolph Center, making way for the hospital to convert its shared two-bedroom units to single occupancy.

Stowe Urgent Care closing on March 28

Stowe Urgent Care

Editor’s note: This article is by Lisa McCormack, of the Stowe Reporter. It was first published on March 19. he walk-in clinic at the Baggy Knees Shopping Center on Mountain Road provides treatment of minor illnesses and injuries. It also provides physicals and vaccines, minor surgical procedures, X-rays and laboratory services, and treatment of work […]

Shumlin looks to pull the plug on Vermont Health Connect if system doesn’t meet deadlines

Peter Shumlin Mark Johnson

If the state’s health insurance marketplace has not met performance criteria set for May and October, Gov. Peter Shumlin says he will take steps to migrate to some form of the federal exchange.

Senate establishes task force for deaf Vermonters

Vermont Disability Awareness Day

The Senate passed a bill creating a task force to address the needs of Vermonters who are deaf or hard of hearing. An amended version of S.66 passed 25-0 on Wednesday in a roll call vote. If the bill becomes law, a 16-person Task Force on Persons Who are Deaf, DeafBlind or Hard of Hearing […]

Dental practitioner bill clears hurdle, but still needs approval from Senate Finance

A root canal gone bad is shown on a dental X-ray. Creative Commons photo by Wonderland via Flickr

Proposal would authorize the use of dental therapists or dental practitioners, who would need 1,000 hours of training and practice under the direction of a dentist.

House committee passes bill allowing individuals to bypass Vermont Health Connect

Blue Cross and Blue Shield Insurance of Vermont in Berlin, Vt.

Vermonters who buy direct from carriers could not receive subsidies, leaving about 12,000 who could benefit from the direct enrollment process.

Senate committee passes trio of health care bills

The Senate Health and Welfare Committee passed three health care bills late last week, with new provisions relating to the state’s ban on toxic chemicals dominating the headlines. That bill, S.139, also resurrects a provision from the last biennium aimed at regulating the practices of pharmacy benefit management companies (PBMs). Pharmacy benefit management companies are […]

Business groups say payroll tax is ‘bad public policy’

Two prominent business groups issued a joint statement Monday in opposition to Gov. Peter Shumlin’s payroll tax proposal, a modified version of which passed a House committee last week. The Vermont Chamber of Commerce and the Vermont Business Roundtable say imposing a payroll tax to reduce the Medicaid cost shift is “bad public policy,” and […]

Health care reform package pared down to $52 million

Coke machine slider

Bill would be supported by an employer payroll tax of 0.3 percent and a 2 cent per ounce excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.

Broader toxic chemical rules tucked into health care bill

Sen. Ginny Lyons, D-Chittenden, said the state should invest in thermal efficiency programs during a news conference at the Main Street Landing train station in Burlington on Thursday. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

Language on toxics in children’s products brings back provisions struck last year that would allow the health commissioner to issue regulations without prior consent from an advisory panel.

House committee pushes back against change in tobacco board

Cigarette pricing at M&M Beverage in Montpelier. Photo by Roger Crowley/for VTDigger

Gov. Peter Shumlin’s proposal to make the Tobacco Evaluation and Review Board an advisory group would strip its independence, panel says.

Senate approves extension of physician-assisted suicide provisions

The Vermont Senate passed a bill Thursday that retains two sections of the state’s physician-assisted suicide law that were set to expire July 1, 2016. In 2013, the Legislature passed Act 39, which supporters sometimes call the “death with dignity law.” Under the law, a physician may prescribe a lethal dose of medication to a […]

House Health Care Committee close to a vote on $70 million reform package

Bill Lippert

The package includes a modified payroll tax and a sugar-sweetened beverage levy.

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