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The home for VPR's coverage of health and health industry issues affecting the state of Vermont.

Green Mountain Care Board Pushes Sustainability As Rural Hospitals Struggle

The exterior of Springfield Hospital, with a person walking toward the entrance carrying bags
Howard Weiss-Tisman
The Green Mountain Care Board, which oversees hospital budgets in Vermont, is examining sustainability as rural hospitals lose money.

Vermont is the only state in the country that regulates hospital budgets. And as rural hospitals struggle,  the panel that oversees them is requesting more paperwork.

The Green Mountain Care Board wants some hospitals to draw up sustainability plans and to check in every few months to ensure they don't follow the path of Springfield Hospital, which declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June.

Springfield, which has 25 beds, is trying to restructure its debt and remain open. It's not the only hospital losing money, however. Six of Vermont’s 14 hospitals had a negative margin this year.

Susan Barrett, Green Mountain Care Board's executive director, frames the problem this way: "The broader question is, ‘How do rural hospitals throughout the state survive?'"

VPR's Howard Weiss-Tisman has been covering this issue and joins Vermont Edition to talk about rural hospitals and the plans they're making to be sustainable.

Broadcast live on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

Jane Lindholm is the host, executive producer and creator of But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids. In addition to her work on our international kids show, she produces special projects for Vermont Public. Until March 2021, she was host and editor of the award-winning Vermont Public program Vermont Edition.
Howard Weiss-Tisman is Vermont Public's reporter for Southern Vermont & the Connecticut River Valley. He worked at the Brattleboro Reformer for 11 years, reporting on most towns in the region and specializing on statewide issues including education, agriculture, energy and mental health. Howard received a BA in Journalism from University of Massachusetts. He filed his first story with Vermont Public in September 2015.
Originally from Delaware, Matt moved to Alaska in 2010 for his first job in radio. He spent five years working as a radio and television reporter, radio producer, talk show host, and news director. His reporting received awards from the Alaska Press Club and the Alaska Broadcasters Association. Relocating to southwest Florida, he was a producer for television news and NPR member station WGCU for their daily radio show, Gulf Coast Live. He joined Vermont Public in October 2017 as producer of Vermont Edition.
April Qian was a part-time producer for Vermont Edition.
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