Vt. hospitals helping state expand health coverage

BERLIN, Vt. (AP) — All 14 Vermont hospitals and two in New Hampshire are helping the state promote Vermont Health Connect, the marketplace that is to provide coverage as part of the incoming health reform efforts.

Some Vermont hospitals have been promoting the new online website and have trained staff to help patients sign up for coverage. Others are training staff and providing information about Vermont Health Connect on their websites.

“This is a partnership that evolved just because it made sense,” Gov. Peter Shumlin said Tuesday at an announcement of the partnership.

Patients coming to hospitals for tests, to see doctors or for admission are typically asked about their health insurance coverage. Hospital staff will share information about Vermont Health Connect and Medicaid with patients who don’t have coverage.

“Hospitals are very happy to insure that Vermont Health Connect is a success,” said Judy Tartaglia, CEO at Central Vermont Medical Center.

Beatrice Grause of the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems says it’s about ensuring that patients get health care.

All Vermont medical hospitals are participating as well as the Brattleboro Retreat and the Veterans Medical Center, as well as New Hampshire’s Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and Cottage Hospital in Woodsville, the Burlington Free Press (http://bfpne.ws/1i9nJGX) reports.

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

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