Vermont hospitals, state regulators far apart on proposed budgets

Health systems in Vermont are asking for significantly increased budgets to be approved while state regulators are looking for far lower numbers, according to a July 27 Vermont Public report.

Vermont is the only state that has a regulatory body, the Green Mountain Care Board, that needs to approve hospital budgets.

Hospitals in the state largely could not keep up with growth targets in recent years and are now asking for big increases in their budgets to make up for the shortfall. While hospitals are looking for average increases of about 8 percent, the Green Mountain Care Board is looking at about 2 percent.

"The request that we made was to recognize that the percentage growth, necessary because of inflation, because of the workforce challenges, because of all the things we're trying to manage, was just out of alignment," Mike Del Trecco, president and CEO of the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, told Vermont Public.

The board is also considering big premium hikes requested by insurers. Blue Cross Blue Shield Vermont, for example, is asking for raises of more than 15 percent, according to the report.

Budget decisions for fiscal 2024 are expected before Sept. 15.

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