Vermont | 50 states of population health

JOHN BRUMSTED. CEO of The University of Vermont Medical Center (Burlington)

On the top challenge

"I believe by far the most pressing concern is affordability of healthcare, and that affordability is increasingly becoming a barrier to access to care …We have a very low uninsured rate in Vermont, but even those who are insured have large copays, large deductibles, and premiums paid for commercial insurance are made high by the Vermont Medicaid cost shift."

On the hospital's response  

"We're working very hard on affordability and, of course, what we can do in that realm to limit the price increases we pass along to commercial payers. Over the last two years and going into the 2019 budget, we have pretty drastically reduced what we pass along to commercial payers. In 2018, it was less than 1 percent and in 2019 we're planning on keeping prices flat, [meaning] zero commercial rate increase. That means we have to be all about total cost management on the operational side. We're not just looking at supply chain; not just looking at staffing issues. But looking at cost across all our lines of business and how we do our business."

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