Regulators deny UVM Medical Center’s mid-year rate hike

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BURLINGTON, Vermont (WCAX) — Vermont’s largest health network says regulators have compromised patients’ access to quality care. That’s because regulators rejected a 10% mid-year rate hike at both UVM Medical Center and Central Vermont Medical Center.

Instead, in a 3-2 vote, the Green Mountain Care Board approved only a fraction of what hospitals had requested — a 2.7% increase in Central Vermont and 2.5 % at UVM Medical Center.

Green Mountain Care board chairman Kevin Mullin said it’s rare to give the green light to a mid-year adjustment, but board members acknowledged that the company’s recent decision UVM to increase the salaries of nurses justified additional support. He says the lower rate of increase is a compromise.

“If they continue to raise their rates at an unsustainable rate that Vermont can afford, there will be fewer and fewer insured people in Vermont and many more underinsured people who will skip necessary preventative care – the annual exams and things like that – if they have to pay out of pocket,” Mullin said.

Mullin says some are upset the board granted a rate hike, especially after regulators recently denied a similar request from Rutland Regional Medical Center.

Mullin hopes UVM Health Network will come up with a contingency plan that will keep hospitals running smoothly.

The board will review the budget adjustments in September.

Related stories:

UVM Health Network calls for 10% mid-year rate hike

Regulators reject Rutland Hospital’s mid-year rate hike request

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