Hospital leaders accuse Vermont regulatory board of overreach

Vermont hospital CEOs have accused the Green Mountain Care Board, the state's regulatory body for hospitals, of overreach after they requested reduced oversight during the pandemic, according to a March 19 VTDigger report.

The board declined to eliminate the hospital budget process entirely, as the hospital leaders requested, resulting in debates on whether the increased cost and responsibilities taken on amid the pandemic merited leniency from regulators.

The hospital budget process requires each facility to present their finances, and the board can cap the amount of revenue a hospital expects to make to limit healthcare costs for Vermonters.

Healthcare facilities have struggled during the pandemic, but some Vermont hospitals are in better financial shape than the years prior, the report said.

The University of Vermont Health Network, based in Burlington, reported losing $21.3 million between October and January, which the system attributes to fewer patients during the pandemic. 

However, the financial loss could be from an October cyberattack and closing its Fanny Allen campus in Colchester, Green Mountain Care Board Chair Kevin Mullin told VTDigger.

The board will vote on alternative options by the end of March.

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