Vermont hospitals seek $118M revenue hike for FY 2020

Financially struggling Vermont hospitals are asking state regulators to increase their patient revenue growth and the rate they charge insurers, according to VTDigger.

The requests are part of proposed fiscal year 2020 budgets submitted by hospitals to the Green Mountain Care Board, a regulatory group responsible for controlling healthcare costs in the state. State regulators must sign off on proposed hospital budgets.

The proposed budgets submitted for fiscal year 2020 represent $118 million in additional revenue, or 4.5 percent revenue growth, compared to expectations for fiscal year 2019, according to VTDigger. That's above the 3.5 percent limit the care board stipulated in its guidance earlier this year for hospitals' net patient revenue and fixed prospective payments.

Vermont hospitals are also asking for rate increases from the care board.

Per the care board's guidance, most hospitals are requesting rate increases of 3.5 percent or below for fiscal year 2020, including Porter Medical Center in Middlebury and Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center in Windsor, according to a care board presentation cited by Vermont Public Radio.

But some stand-alone hospitals are seeking higher increases. Copley Hospital in Morrisville seeks an overall rate increase of 9.8 percent, and Northwestern Medical Center in St. Albans seeks an overall rate increase of 5.9 percent. North Country Hospital in Newport seeks an overall rate increase of 4.2 percent.  

The requests come as six Vermont hospitals expect to end fiscal year 2019 with a deficit.

The care board will hold its annual budget review and rate increase hearings this month, and final decisions regarding requested rate increases are slated for September.

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