Fletcher Allen seeks 4.9 percent budget increase

Fletcher Allen Health Care makes case for 4.9 percent budget increase

Associated Press

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) -- Vermont's largest hospital Fletcher Allen Health Care is seeking approval to increase its budget by nearly 5 percent as part of a larger plan to raise $44 million next year to cover operating expenses and implement new health reform initiatives, add 282 full-time positions and begin planning for a new building.

Fletcher Allen's proposals are included in budget documents the medical center submitted last month to the Green Mountain Care Board, the organization that has the authority to approve or order changes to hospital budgets across Vermont.

The Burlington hospital's proposal exceeds the 3 percent cap on budget growth set by the board. Collectively, Vermont's 14 hospitals met the 3 percent goal. The board limited excess spending to 1 percentage point, if it met certain requirements, including that it result in in reformed health care delivery.

Fletcher Allen's proposal would cover its reform plans as well as routine inflationary increases in costs.

Fletcher Allen CEO Dr. John Brumsted, told The Burlington Free Press (( http://bfpne.ws/19HLUKe), the hospital could justify the extra revenue.

"We are trying to be very responsive to the health care needs of our community and meet the state's and our objectives in this era of health care reform," he said.

The board is planning budget hearings for later this month.

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Information from: The Burlington Free Press, http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com

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