In the News
Most Vermont hospitals enter this year’s budget season in the red

Vermont’s hospitals emerged from the latest coronavirus surge in a much weaker financial position than before the pandemic, their filings with state regulators show.

Most hospitals — including the state’s largest — expect to finish this fiscal year, which runs until Sept. 30, with a loss from normal operations. Taken collectively, Vermont’s hospitals expect a $63 million deficit.

Almost 70% of that — around $43 million — is attributable to the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington.

Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin, part of the same network that runs UVM Medical Center, is projecting a $13.5 million deficit. 

The state’s second-largest hospital, Rutland Regional Medical Center, is projecting a $12.5 million loss from operations this year.
WTSA News: GMCB kicks off formal process of approving hospital budgets
96.7 WTSA FM

The Green Mountain Care Board kicks off the formal process of annually approving hospital budgets this week. Michael Del Trecco, from the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health systems is hoping the proposed budget submissions are approved. Del Trecco says nearly every industry—from health care to education to law enforcement to the trades—is struggling to fill needed job openings and manage soaring inflation. Services are suffering as a result. Hospitals are managing within a delivery system that does not have the appropriate resources to care for mental health patients or long-term care patients.

Secretary of State Jim Condos says Vermont’s August 9 Statewide Primary Election is only two weeks away and he wants voters to formulate their voting plan. Those planning to return their ballot by mail are encouraged to get their voted ballot in the mail stream no later than Friday, July 29 to ensure ample time for it to be delivered to the Town Clerk before Election Day. Vermonters can also vote early, or return an early ballot, in person at their Clerk’s office any day before Election Day on August 9, during normal business hours. Secure drop boxes are available in many towns for voters to conveniently return their ballot packages.
429 hospitals with 5 stars from CMS: 2022

CMS updated its Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings for 2022, giving 429 hospitals a rating of five stars.

CMS assigned star ratings to hospitals nationwide based on their performance across five quality categories.

This year:
  • 192 hospitals received a one-star rating
  • 692 hospitals received a two-star rating
  • 890 hospitals received a three-star rating
  • 890 received a four-star rating
  • 429 received a five-star rating

Here are the hospitals that received a five-star rating from CMS, broken down by state, as listed on the Hospital Compare website. 
Retreat offering services for health care workers
Deerfield Valley News

The Brattleboro Retreat, a leading specialty psychiatric hospital for people of all ages, is now accepting patients for its Healthcare Professionals Program.

Launched as a remote clinical service, the program offers partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programming for currently employed and former nurses, physicians, dentists, EMTs, social workers, LNAs and CNAs, therapists, technologists, and other health care professionals who experience PTSD, anxiety, depression, stress or substance use disorder as consequences of their jobs. In a group therapy format, health-care professionals address their personal challenges exclusively among peers, other healthcare professionals who understand the pressures of providing health care.

The program’s partial hospital option consists of five groups per day, five days per week from Monday to Friday, 9:30 am to 2 pm; while the intensive outpatient option features three groups per day, five mornings per week from Monday to Friday, 9:30 am to noon. Participants will receive personal orientations to establish individual treatment goals as well as a consultation with a medical doctor.
Reformulated COVID vaccine boosters may be available earlier than expected

The Biden administration may scrap plans to let more younger adults get second COVID-19 boosters this summer. Instead, officials are trying to speed up availability of the next generation of boosters in the fall, NPR has learned.

The new strategy is aimed at trying to balance protecting people this summer with keeping people safe next winter, when the country will probably get hit by yet another surge.

But the possible shift is being met with mixed reactions. The Food and Drug Administration could make a final decision by the end of the week.

The dilemma facing the FDA is that the immunity many people have gotten from getting vaccinated or infected has been wearing off. At the same time, the most contagious version of the virus to emerge yet — the omicron subvariant BA.5 — is making people even more vulnerable.
Vermont Announces State's First Monkeypox Case

Health officials in Vermont announced the state's first case of monkeypox virus on Friday.

The individual is an adult from Franklin County. State health officials said the person is under the care of their health care provider and the current risk of community transmission associated with the case is "very low." No further information about the individual is being released to protect patient privacy.

Initial testing performed by the State Public Health Laboratory was positive for the virus and confirmatory testing is being performed at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Vermont was the only state in New England that had not reported a case of monkeypox yet.

Maine has one confirmed case, New Hampshire seven, Rhode Island 19, Connecticut 28 and Massachusetts 117. Nearly 5,000 cases have now been reported across the U.S.

Hospitals in the News
Mark Your Calendar
VAHHS Annual Meeting: September 28 to 30, 2022