RUTLAND, Vt.-Rutland Regional Medical Center is appealing to the state Supreme Court a state-ordered budget cut while the hospital tries to work out a settlement. The Hospital Data Council and the Health Care Authority ordered the hospital to use $1.7 million of surplus money to lower prices as much as 2.7%. The hospital filed a notice of appeal on Jan. 8 with the Vermont Supreme Court while hospital leaders met with Human Services Agency officials about using the $1.7 million as a reserve fund for patients without insurance. "We made some nice progress, and they gave us a lot of material to take under consideration," said James Bowse, the hospital's president. Bowse and others at the hospital question whether the state can legally order price cuts. They also have questioned whether the plan would help insurance companies more than it would consumers. This is the first year in which the state has authority, through the Hospital Data Council and the Health Care Authority, to approve hospital budgets.
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