Vermont's Senate and House have passed legislation to overhaul the state's regulation of hospital projects and its certificate-of-need process. The legislation, prompted in part by a controversial building project at 510-bed Fletcher Allen Health Care, will require every hospital in the state to conduct a four-year community needs assessment with updates every two years. The information will be incorporated into a statewide plan. Hospitals also will be required to communicate to their communities quality measures, financial information and how they achieve "meaningful public participation" in strategic planning. Fletcher Allen, Burlington, Vt., got into trouble with state regulators after allegedly hiding information about a $356 million expansion. The bill will go to the governor within the week. -- by Tony Fong
Vt. lawmakers pass statewide healthcare planning
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