Q. Who are the Partners for Healthcare Reform?
A. We are the Vermont Medical Society, Fletcher Allen Health Care, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, Vermont Business Roundtable, Vermont Chamber of Commerce, and the Vermont Assembly of Home Health Agencies.
Q. Why & when was this partnership formed?
A. Everyone with a stake in Vermont’s health care system realizes that we each play a critical role and share the responsibility to make it work. Our group, formed in January 2013, comprises health care providers, employers, and a health plan provider. We are interested in providing data-driven information and research-based analyses to help shape effective reform of Vermont’s health care system.
Q. Why did this Partners group commission this report?
A. The group did have concerns about some of the assumptions, particularly about administrative cost savings and the proposed lower level of provider reimbursements. We thought that it would be useful for a qualified third party to make an independent assessment of the State’s health care reform financing plan’s cost estimate and key assumptions and report on their findings.
Q. What is the Partners group’s position on the governor’s 2014 Financing Plan?
A. We agree with the Avalere report’s findings and two items stand out: First, getting the assumptions right matters, and two, the estimate of $1.6 billion to finance the plan appears low.
Q. What is the Partners group’s position on single payer?
A. Whether we get to a single payer system or not, the change must be good for everyone at the end of the day. We must all work together to develop a solution that we can all be proud of.
Q. Can physicians survive on a 105% reimbursement plan as put forth in the February 2013 Financing Plan?
A. We already have a high-value system. A 16% reduction would impact patient care and the services currently provided to Vermonters. Medicare does not cover the full costs on providing care and is not a good baseline for reimbursement discussions.
Q. What is the hoped-for impact of this report?
A. We hope people will think about how variability of assumptions will affect both the initial and annual costs of a publicly funded health care system.
Q. How does the $1.6 billion replace current premium expenditures?
A. Based on the information in the 1/24 UMass financing plan, PHCR calculates that the hypothetical savings in insurance premiums in 2017 would be approximately $1.8 billion.