MONTPELIER, Vt.—New Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin may pursue a single-payer healthcare system in his state, which an analysis requested by the state Legislature suggests could reduce healthcare spending by roughly a quarter.
Regional News/Northeast: Vermont governor wants singer-payer system, and other news
The report included rough savings estimates for three options: two versions of single payers and one public insurance option. Vermont could reduce spending by 24.3% between 2015 and 2024 with a publicly financed, government-administered single-payer model, according to the report by Harvard University economist William Hsiao.
But the state could further reduce its spending by 25.3% during the same period by allowing public and private insurers to bid on administering a single-payer system, the report said. A public insurance option, meanwhile, would reduce spending during the period by an estimated 16.1%, Hsiao said. “It's clear that moving to a single-payer plan, with or without a limited role for private insurers, will save Vermont significant money in healthcare,” Shumlin said in a statement. The governor and legislative leaders intend to draft a healthcare overhaul bill, based in part on the report, to be introduced soon. The state's delegations in Congress, meanwhile, plan to introduce bills paving the way for such an effort beginning in 2014 under a waiver to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, three years sooner than the law currently allows.
PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in an antitrust lawsuit brought by rival West Penn Allegheny Health System. The 10-hospital UPMC persuaded a federal judge to shelve the lawsuit in the meantime. UPMC said an appeals court decision in November to allow the lawsuit to proceed conflicts with Supreme Court decisions and those of other circuit courts, court records show. The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected an October 2009 order from a federal judge to throw out West Penn's antitrust lawsuit against UPMC and insurance company Highmark. UPMC said the system plans to file a petition for the Supreme Court to review the case, which must be done by March 29, and successfully asked U.S. District Judge Arthur Schwab to suspend the lawsuit, according to court records.
CAMDEN, N.J.—Lourdes Health System has acquired Associated Cardiovascular Consultants, a seven-office cardiology practice with 31 cardiologists based in Voorhees, N.J. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Lourdes Health System, which includes 382-bed Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center, acquired the practice in preparation for care-delivery changes emphasized in the healthcare reform law, officials said in a news release. “In the future, we believe hospitals and physicians will increasingly be paid for value and quality rather than volume,” Lourdes Health System CEO Alexander Hatala said in the release. “Our partnership with ACC in a clinical co-management arrangement will allow us to increase quality, reduce cost, avoid duplication of services and increase coordination of care.” Dr. Steven Fox, ACC's president, said integrating the two entities would enhance care coordination.
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