Governor Shumlin Calls for Additional Investment in the Vermont Blueprint for Health

In his 2015 budget address, delivered January 15, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin called for additional investment in the work of the Vermont Blueprint for Health. The following is an excerpt of the address - the full text is available here

. . . we need additional investment in Vermont's Blueprint for Health to build on its early success in reducing costs while improving quality. It has been central to our reform efforts; our job now is to position it for a strong future. Our Blueprint medical home and community health teams have effectively increased social services for the sickest and most needy Vermonters on Medicaid, and have reduced the medical needs of those with private insurance while saving about $550 per person every single year.

Today, its future is at risk because participating providers have not seen an increase in payments since the Blueprint launched. My budget fixes this by more than doubling payments to Medicaid's Blueprint providers with a new $4.5 million appropriation, including increasing Medicaid's community health team payments by $1 million and adding $3.5 million to Medicaid medical home payments. My budget also supports our hard working Home Health organizations with an additional $1.25 million to help them move forward with payment reform.

I also propose that we expand to more Vermonters the good work done by home and community providers, like the Support and Services at Home (SASH) program and Vermont Care Alliance, by supporting my request for an additional $500,00 that will draw down $5 million in federal match. Programs like these keep Vermonters with chronic conditions healthier by managing their needs before they get sicker. It saves money and improves quality of life and we should make this model more widely available. This investment just makes sense; I need your support.