Vermont ACO budgeted for $621M

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Vermont's statewide accountable care organization (ACO), OneCare Vermont, will launch with a $620.8 million budget to cover about 122,000 people.

The budget was approved by the Green Mountain Care Board, the state’s healthcare regulatory agency. $600 million will be dedicated for patient care, $12.5 million will go for operating expenses and $7.5 million will cover various pilot projects.

“It's a very big step, because health care nationally is growing at a faster rate than economic growth,” board chairman Kevin Mullin told the Burlington Free Press. “We're not doing well compared to other developed countries as far as our per capita cost for health care, so this is important to try to move away from what I consider to be a failed system of fee for service.”

The model pays providers a fixed amount of a monthly basis: Primary care physicians would receive $3.25 per patient per month, with another $15 to $25 for more complex patients. Nine of the state’s 14 hospitals will participate, along with one in neighboring New Hampshire, along with providers under Blue Cross Blue Shield plans and the University of Vermont Medical Center employee plans.

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