Vermont's 14 hospitals last week requested an aggregate 10% increase in revenue for 2001 from the state's Public Oversight Commission, which reviews state hospital budgets.
But the state's physician-governor is opposed to such a big increase.
In line with its peers, Copley Health Systems in Morrisville, which is revamping its governance structure, requested a 9.7% revenue increase, compared with the decrease of 0.04% that it requested last year, according to the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems.
Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, M.D., said the 10% budget hike requested collectively by the state's hospitals could result in higher health insurance premiums, as insurers pass along the higher hospital payments to employers and employees.
Vermont is the only remaining state in which state agencies review and subsequently approve or reject hospital budgets. After reviewing the proposed budgets, the Public Oversight Commission will make a recommendation to the state's Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration, which then will issue a binding decision on whether the budget requests are approved.