Vermont scores a small victory for health care competition

Vermont scores a small victory for health care competition | Truth in Health CareAfter a two-year struggle, an independent ambulatory center has been approved in Vermont over opposition from the most powerful hospital in the state.

The Green Mountain Care Board issued a “certificate of need” for the surgery center last week. We’ve blogged previously here and here about the existence of such moldy laws still on the books and how large health care systems still use them to stifle competition.

That has been the situation in Vermont. But the strong wall of opposition from the state’s largest hospital, University of Vermont Medical Center, finally tumbled in the face of evidence that Vermont was far behind the times in adding the proven ambulatory center model of care to its health care mix of services. Nearby New Hampshire, for example, has 29 Medicare-certified ambulatory surgery centers, and Maine has 17. Until now, Vermont had one.

Moreover, it’s increasingly evident that a hospital system approaching monopoly status causes patient costs to rise. In health care, bigger is not better.

So . . . a toast to a small victory for the small, independent health care facility. It’s the way forward to innovate in health care delivery and reduce costs.

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