A bill that would protect whistleblowers who report problems at hospitals passed the Vermont Senate 16-12 and has moved to the House. The bill grew out of a scandal at 529-bed Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington, Vt., in which executives lied to regulators about the cost of an expansion project. Federal law provides protection to whistleblowers only if the wrongdoing reported involves federal funds. The Vermont bill would allow hospital whistleblowers to report perceived retaliation to the state labor department. The state hospital association opposed the bill, arguing that many hospitals already have nonretaliation policies. -- by Tony Fong
Vt. whistleblower protection law heads to House
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