In the News
Vermont hospitals team up to help Central Vermont families in need
Vermont Business Magazine

The Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems (VAHHS) held its 2019 Annual Meeting, entitled Healthy Vermont Together: People, Passion, Promise last week beginning on September 11.

Early arrivals at the conference gathered to do a service project to help local families in need. More than 50 participants, including hospital CEOs and staff, stuffed 750 bags with essentials like shampoo, toothpaste, soap and deodorant for individuals and families in need. Partner Capstone Community Action will provide the bags to homeless and housing-insecure residents in Lamoille and Washington Counties.

“We know our providers and hospital leaders serve their communities every day, and we wanted to bring that aspect of service to our annual meeting, especially since it fell on September 11,” said Devon Green, vice president of government relations at VAHHS. “We know the work of our community partners is an integral part of keeping our communities healthy. Our hospitals recognize the importance of safe shelter and good nutrition to the health of our neighbors..”

The Vaping Illness Outbreak: What We Know So Far

An outbreak of severe lung disease among users of electronic cigarettes continues to spread to new patients and states, and public health officials say it's too soon to point to a cause.

According to the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a total of 530 confirmed and probable cases have been identified in 38 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The CDC has confirmed seven deaths, in six states.

Public health officials are taking urgent steps to identify what's causing previously healthy vape users to develop pneumonia-like symptoms. But the results are still inconclusive.

Steven R. Gordon: BMH initiatives continue to address financial challenges
Steven R. Gordon, Brattleboro Reformer

As one of Vermont's 14 non-profit hospitals, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital (BMH) recently completed budget hearings before our state regulatory body, the Green Mountain Care Board (GMCB). The GMCB is charged with reviewing all hospital budgets, rate increase requests, new services and major capital expenditures. Their major focus is to limit hospital rate increases as well as growth in patient revenue. I want to take this opportunity to share some reflections about what's going on in our region and across the country for many hospitals like ours. The bottom-line is our Vermont hospitals face significant headwinds. Almost half of the hospitals in Vermont are experiencing negative operating margins for the current fiscal year.

VA Medical Center recognizes September as Suicide Prevention Month
Vermont Business Magazine

In observance of Suicide Prevention Month, White River Junction VA Medical Center is bringing awareness to its #BeThere campaign by encouraging community leaders, colleagues, and veterans’ families and friends to help prevent suicide by showing support for those who may be going through a difficult time.

Suicide is a complex national public health issue that affects communities nationwide, with more than 45,000 Americans, including more than 6,000 Veterans, dying by suicide every year. But suicide is preventable. VA is using a community-driven approach to prevent suicide and finding innovative ways to deliver support and care to all 20 million U.S. Veterans whenever and wherever they need it.

‘It’s really scary': VT patient among those left in limbo after medication recall
My NBC 5

Patients with a rare condition who rely on a certain hormone to ensure their quality of life are now pleading with the federal government for help, after the critical medicine was recalled.

One of those patients is a man from Vermont’s Chittenden County.

“It’s really scary,” said Ryan Polly, describing the uncertainty over the medication Natpara, which he thinks of as a lifeline.

Polly uses Natpara, a parathyroid hormone, so he can properly absorb calcium—which the body needs for healthy heart, nervous system, bone, and muscle function.

“Without this medication, I could be sitting at work, and the next thing I know, I could be having a seizure or my heart could stop,” Polly said in an interview Monday with NBC5. “And I have five kids; I want to be around for my kids.”

Regulators allow 2020 hospital budgets to exceed growth target
Xander Landen, VT Digger

Under the budgets that health care regulators approved last week, Vermont's hospitals are expected to collect $2.72 billion in revenue in 2020, exceeding a revenue growth target that officials set earlier this year. 

The budgets finalized by the Green Mountain Care Board on Sept. 11 authorize hospital revenues — and therefore the amount that Vermont spends on hospital care — to grow by about $100 million in fiscal year 2020. 

That’s above the threshold the board, which regulates health care spending in the state, recommended in March. Last spring the board asked hospitals to keep revenue growth in the 2020 fiscal year at or under 3.5%.

People in the News
Mark Your Calendar
Northeast Kingdom Community Action Parent Child Center, St. Johnsbury
Monday, September 23

Milne Public Library, Williamstown, MA
Wednesday, September 25