Because of an influx of patients clogging the emergency room on Friday, UVM Medical Center encouraged patients to only seek out the emergency department in medical emergencies.
The federal agency has said health care facilities in areas with low, moderate or substantial Covid transmission can drop mask mandates, but some experts have concerns about the safety of the new policy.
The model could be “one of the rare win-wins that happen where we’re able to support our community and folks who are in recovery to find gainful employment,” said one of the executives involved in the program.
Violent incidents aren’t new in emergency rooms, but they have grown more frequent during the pandemic.
Supporters say the law will benefit Vermont hospitals and independent pharmacies, but others warn that H.353 will significantly raise prescription drug costs in Vermont.
The 600-member union had been working without a contract since 2020.
Coverage was due to expire May 13, but the state’s largest health care provider said it would continue to accept UnitedHealthcare insurance as the two sides negotiate a new contract.
The discussion comes as UVM Health Network projects significant losses for the Berlin hospital.
The state’s largest hospital system put on hold a project that would have opened 10 psychiatric beds for children and adolescents outside of the Brattleboro Retreat, the only hospital that offers this service.
The Burlington chapter of the Committee of Interns and Residents is the second union hospital management has recognized.
Vermont hospitals have received more than $300 million in state and federal coronavirus aid since March 2020. Even so, some hospitals say they need to raise prices.
The Green Mountain Care Board decided Friday to approve a modest midyear increase for the health network’s Burlington and Berlin hospitals.
Hospital officials say the building is safe even though they have not determined the cause of the odor that sickened staff members.
The Department of Health and Human Services accused the hospital of violating rules concerning health care providers who refuse to take part in certain procedures based on religious objections.