Vermont legislators push regulators for progress on physician pay parity: 5 things to know

Vermont senators are calling on Vermont's Green Mountain Care Board to do more to address pay parity between independent and hospital-employed physicians, according to a VTDigger report.

Here are five things to know.

1. Establishing pay parity would require insurance companies to compensate independent physicians and hospital-employed physicians at the same rate for providing the same care, according to the report.

2. Amy Cooper, executive director of HealthFirst, an independent practice association, contends in the report that hospital-employed primary care physicians in Vermont often receive 250 percent more in pay than independent primary care physicians, while the difference for specialists is 350 percent.

3. Under Vermont's current pay gap, many independent physicians have either left the state or become hospital-employed, committee members said in the report.

4. In the report, Susan Barrett, executive director of the Green Mountain Care Board, described the issue as "very complex." "There are many areas that we're looking at. … How is (price parity) going to impact the rates and premiums that Vermonters pay? How is it going to impact payment reform? How is it going to impact the other reform we're working on in the state?" she said.

5. The Green Mountain Care Board is due to report back to the Senate Appropriations Committee by Oct. 1 on "what substantial changes" it has made toward pay parity, according to the report.

Read the full report here.


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