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UTHealth research: Vermont's health care reform has lessons for other states
Date:4/4/2013

HOUSTON (April, 3 2013) Vermont's aggressive health care reform initiatives can serve as a roadmap for other states, according to a Master of Public Health candidate at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). The paper, "Lessons from Vermont's Health Care Reform," will appear tomorrow in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The study's author, Laura Grubb, M.D., of The University of Texas School of Public Health, part of UTHealth, wrote that Vermont is well ahead of most other states in implementing federal and state health care reforms.

"Vermont is progressive," said Grubb, also a fellow in adolescent medicine at the UTHealth Medical School. "They didn't wait until each step of the Affordable Care Act had to be implemented. They voted on their own state-based reform system."

The Affordable Care Act mandates that states establish their own insurance exchanges or default to the federal exchange. Twenty-four states and the District of Columbia have declared their intent to establish their own insurance exchange, or a joint state-federal exchange.

Grubb proposes four main lessons for other states as they implement health care reform: engage the stakeholders, coordinate implementation efforts through a centralized administrative board, develop state-specific insurance exchanges and capitalize on federal financing opportunities. With these lessons, Grubb said, states may realize cost savings, reduce redundancy and waste, increase residents' satisfaction and deliver state-specific heath care innovations.

Vermont's establishment of a central administrative board, the Green Mountain Care Board, will result in lower costs because it works "smarter, not harder," Grubb wrote. Instead of having numerous agencies across the state duplicating efforts, all parties are working together under one administrative body, resulting in reduced costs.

"Vermont is proud to be a leader in th
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Contact: Stephanie Logue
stephanie.d.logue@uth.tmc.edu
713-500-3307
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Source:Eurekalert

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