University of Vermont Health Network Hospital Budgets Outline Patient, Employee and Community Priorities

The UVM Health Network Vermont Hospitals will present their fiscal year budgets.

The University of Vermont Health Network’s Vermont hospitals will present their fiscal year 2019 budgets to the Green Mountain Care Board on Wednesday, August 22, in Burlington. Leaders from the UVM Medical Center, Central Vermont Medical Center and Porter Medical Center will outline patient, employee and community priorities.

“Budgets express an organization’s values, goals and plans through numbers,” said John Brumsted, MD, president and CEO of the UVM Health Network. “What we hope to accomplish on Wednesday is to explain how the numbers contained in our budgets allow us to make meaningful investments in our workforce, meet critical community needs and improve the lives of our patients and families.”

Hospital leaders plan to talk about their combined efforts to improve how care is delivered to patients and families across the state and region. Initiatives include:

  • An improved Regional Transport System to enhance the quality and timeliness of care for critically ill patients who need to be moved urgently between hospitals.
  • A new inpatient mental health care facility located on the Central Vermont Medical Center’s campus in Berlin to address mental health needs.
  • Expansion of the Epic electronic medical record system to improve coordination of care.

The combined Network budget represents a modest 2.5 percent increase in year-over-year net patient revenue, below the 3.2 percent guideline issued by the GMCB. In addition, to address the affordability of health insurance, the UVM Medical Center proposes a commercial rate growth of 4 percent. Both Central Vermont Medical Center and Porter Medical Center are proposing 2.8 percent increases.

“A close look at the budget of the UVM Medical Center paints a picture of how we’re deploying our financial and human resources strategically to improve the health of our communities,” said Eileen Whalen, MHA, RN, president and chief operating officer of the UVM Medical Center. “A perfect example of this is our Miller Building project which will enhance the healing environment through patient privacy and more room for families, and will provide our staff with the opportunity to work in a state of the art environment for patient care.”

Dr. Brumsted pointed to the growing percentage of hospital budgets supported by fixed payments through the OneCare Vermont accountable care organization, in which hospitals assume the financial risk for the health of their communities and change the services they are delivering to focus more on wellness and population health programs in addition to traditional medical services. He emphasized the Network’s continued support for Vermont’s All Payer ACO Model as one of the most important tools through which the Network hospitals strive to keep Vermonters healthy, improve the health care experience and make health care more affordable.

Fred Kniffin, MD, president of the UVM Health Network - Porter Medical Center in Middlebury agreed. “We need to align our priorities with our community. Our patients want to stay healthy and we now have financial incentives to make investments to help them remain healthy as we continue to transition from fee for service to payment models that reward quality and positive clinical outcomes.”

The University of Vermont Medical Center, the state’s largest nonprofit hospital and the region’s only academic medical center, Level 1 trauma center and children’s hospital, has placed significant emphasis on educational advancement and workforce development in its recent budgets.

Anna Noonan, RN, BSN, MS, president and chief operating officer of UVM Health Network - Central Vermont Medical Center, will share details of how CVMC is working to enhance its patient-and family-focused, high-quality services while continuing to strengthen its fiscal health.

“I have just completed my first year at Central Vermont Medical Center and I am continually impressed by the deep commitment our staff and providers have to assuring that we deliver the highest possible quality of care in a patient-and family-centered environment,” Noonan said. “At CVMC and throughout the Network, we are committed to investing in our people so they can continue to enhance the services we provide to the populations we serve.”

The University of Vermont Health Network budget hearing is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. Wednesday at Contois Auditorium in Burlington City Hall.

About The University of Vermont Health Network

The University of Vermont Health Network is an integrated system serving the residents of Vermont and northern New York with a shared mission: working together, we improve people’s lives. The partners are:

Our 4,000 health care professionals are driven to provide high-quality, cost-efficient care as close to home as possible. Strengthened by our academic connection to the University of Vermont, each of our affiliates remains committed to its local community by providing compassionate, personal care shaped by the latest medical advances and delivered by highly skilled experts.

  August 21, 2018