Department of Vermont Health Access (H.206) - May 2-5, 2023

H.206 was reviewed in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee on April 27 by Chairwoman Lyons and Legal Counsel (see previous reports on this bill here). It was determined favorable after making changes in the Blueprint for Health regarding how much insurers and Vermont Medicaid should increase the amount paid per-person to medical homes for providing the additional resources necessary for delivery of comprehensive primary care services to Vermonters. 

The bill moved on the Senate Appropriations Committee, where it was reviewed on Tuesday. Various aspects of the bill were covered, included Medicaid coverage for Adult Dental Services - preventive care, as well as diagnostic, restorative, and endodontic procedures. They continued to review Medicaid coverage and the necessity for prior authorization.

Lyons (who is also on this Committee) noted a section of the bill that had been amended. By October of this year, the Department of Vermont Health Access is required to provide a final report on the development of the methodology for Federally Qualified Health Centers. Next they discussed a report due in January regarding payments under the Blueprint for Health patient-centered medical homes.

The Committee spent quite a bit of time reviewing and discussing liens from hospitals for services provided to a patient that are not covered by any insurance or private payments. The conversation including defining conditions, time limits, and potential hospital liability in certain situations. The hospital must file a lien within at least 120 days after they are billed by the patient’s health insurance plan.

There was further discussion about the Green Mountain Care Board (GMCB) and efforts to transform the hospital system. Reduce inefficiencies, lowering costs, improving population health outcomes, reducing health inequities, and increasing access to essential services while maintaining sufficient capacity for emergency management were also topics of discussion.

On Wednesday, the Committee passed H.206 which was reviewed on the Senate floor on Thursday and sent back to the House on Friday.

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