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Vermonters spent less than US average on health care, but spending grew faster 2007-2011

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 10:29am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Vermonters with employer sponsored health insurance spent less out-of-pocket on health care but their spending grew faster than the national average in the years before implementation of the state's health reform law, says a new study from the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) prepared in cooperation with the Green Mountain Care Board (GMCB), Vermont's health care regulator.

Submissions being accepted for Vermont Writers’ Prize

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 5:47am -- tim

Entries are now being accepted for the Vermont Writers’ Prize, an annual competition sponsored by Green Mountain Power and Vermont Magazine that provides an opportunity for Vermont writers to showcase their talent.

“This is a wonderful contest that highlights Vermont talent and why we all love Vermont,” said Dorothy Schnure, corporate spokesperson for Green Mountain Power. “GMP is committed to supporting communities, and the goal of the Vermont Writers’ Prize is to inspire everyone to build a better state.”

Town of Randolph to pay $56,350 to resolve wastewater treatment violations

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 4:07pm -- tim

The Department of Environmental Conservation’s Compliance and Enforcement Division (CED) announced that it has formally settled environmental violations involving the Town of Randolph. Randolph operates a wastewater treatment facility which discharges to the White River and is subject to a discharge permit.

State Ed Board issues statement on use and misuse of standardized tests

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 1:35pm -- tim

The State Board of Education unanimously approved a statement concerning the proper and improper uses of standardized testing after a four-month review and study, the Board announced today. The five page statement and resolution notes that states are spending too much time on testing, and states do not receive enough new information to make it worth the added expense and loss of teaching time.

State auditor plans performance audit of Vermont Health Connect

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 11:05am -- tim

by Morgan True State Auditor Doug Hoffer is going to put Vermont’s plans to correct ongoing problems with its health care exchange under the microscope, he said Monday. Thousands of Vermont Health Connect customers are still having trouble making changes to their coverage, fixing billing issues or editing personal information.

Report released on state legislative activity to reduce cancer incidence and mortality

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 6:44am -- tim

Vermont is doing better than most, but a majority of states are not measuring up on legislative solutions that prevent and fight cancer, according to a new report released today by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). As the changing health care landscape presents new opportunities to prevent a disease that kills 1,600 people a day in this country, many state legislatures are failing to enact laws and policies that could not only generate new revenue and long-term health savings, but also save lives. 

New business lobby group to support family issues

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 6:08am -- tim

by Hilary Niles A new advocacy group for “socially responsible” small businesses in Vermont was announced Monday morning. Vermont’s Main Street Alliance, headed by Lindsay DesLauriers, will be part of a national network of state and local small business coalitions. The group will endorse initiatives for statewide single-payer health care and mandatory paid sick leave for Vermont employees. The group’s strategy is to recruit small business owners into advocacy coalitions organized around each topic.

School-based health center at Barre City Elementary & Middle School

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 6:00am -- katie

A school-based health center at Barre City Elementary & Middle School is an extension of the Central Vermont Medical Center’s pediatric primary care practices.  It will operate at the school on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30am to 12:30pm providing primary health care to students. Participation is voluntary and the goal is to keep kids healthy and in school, and as much as possible to maximize their learning potential.

State signs $9.5 million contract expanding role of Optum in health care exchange

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 5:53am -- tim

by Morgan True Vermont signed a revised contract with the tech firm Optum that expands its role in Vermont Health Connect’s operations. Optum already had a contract worth $5.6 million for consulting work, and the latest deal, signed Aug. 15, is worth an additional $9.5 million for a total of $15.1 million. Lawrence Miller, chief of health care reform, said Optum’s contract is “open-to-buy” meaning its scope can broaden as needed.

Retreat CEO Simpson named 2014 Behavioral Healthcare Champion

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 4:50am -- tim

Brattleboro Retreat President and Chief Executive Officer Dr Robert E Simpson, Jr, has been named by Behavioral Healthcare magazine as a 2014 Behavioral Healthcare Champion along with four other leaders in the field of mental health from across the nation. The 2014 Champions were selected from outstanding nominees across the country who, according to the magazine, are making a difference in the development, delivery, and effectiveness of mental healthcare services.

Tom Leavitt returns to Vermont to lead Northfield Savings Bank

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 2:37pm -- tim

Northfield Savings Bank Board Chair Nancy Pope announced today that Thomas S Leavitt will be the company's 14th President & Chief Executive Officer. Leavitt will succeed Thomas N Pelletier in the final quarter of 2014. Leavitt previously was a long-time executive at Merchants Bank. Pelletier is leaving the $750 million institution after more than 16 years at the helm. Leavitt has served two years as President & CEO of MountainOne Financial in North Adams, MA.