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Regulators limit UVM Medical Center’s revenue plans

University of Vermont Medical Center sign against orange maple leaves.
Matthew Smith

State regulators dealt the University of Vermont Medical Center a blow on Wednesday after approving less than half what the hospital wanted to charge patients covered by commercial insurance companies next year.

The Green Mountain Care Board unanimously approved a 3% increase in the hospital's commercial insurance rate for 2024.

That's after UVM Medical Center asked for a 10% increase.

The vote came after a sometimes tense hearing. State regulators questioned hospital officials on their administrative overhead, and on money the hospital system raised on its investments.

Green Mountain Care Board member Thom Walsh told hospital administrators that ratepayers can’t afford to keep paying high insurance premiums to fuel growth.

“The hospital before us today has a business model that continues to focus on expansion, adding administrative layers, to build for a savings future, when the savings have never materialized," Walsh said.

In a statement following the decision, the UVM Health Network said it had presented a budget it believed was necessary to deliver care, recruit and retain staff, and make investments to stay "on the cutting edge of medicine."

"We are beginning the process of reviewing the impact of today’s decision," the network said. "When the Board’s detailed written orders are delivered later this month, we will carefully review them to determine what they mean for our patients, employees and community. We are committed to remaining transparent about the impact of these orders as we better understand their consequences."

Along with approving the reduced budget, the board is also asking the hospital to submit a report within three months, detailing what it will do to reduce costs and control growth moving forward.

Have questions, comments or tips?Send us a message or reach out to reporter Howard Weiss-Tisman:


Corrected: September 14, 2023 at 11:36 AM EDT
The Green Mountain Care Board approved a 3% increase in what University of Vermont Medical Center can charge to commercially insured patients, not a 3% increase for all hospital revenue. The headline has also been updated to clarify the scope of the decision.
Howard Weiss-Tisman is Vermont Public’s southern Vermont reporter, but sometimes the story takes him to other parts of the state.
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