Dozens of health care providers gathered to tackle some of their biggest challenges

Dozens of health care providers gathered at a roundtable Wednesday to tackle some of their biggest challenges, including rising costs and ongoing labor shortages. The gathering of health care providers in Morrisville is to sort out the complex intersection of challenges facing the health care industry that impacts Vermonters seeking care. Costs continue to spiral, staffing concerns persist, and wait times for specialty care remain long. Many hospital leaders say the health care system is still feeling the effects of the pandemic. The Grenn Mountain Care Board’s Foster says they are aware of the problems. He says their mission is to help control costs and improve the health of Vermonters but that they only have a number of tools, including regulating hospital budgets, health care reform efforts, and approving insurance plans. One area where state dollars appear to be paying off is Jenna’s Promise, a Johnson center that provides substance use treatment, housing, and employment opportunities. “We’ve been having a great success rate and I think that’s because we’re treating the whole person,” said Dawn Tatro, the organization’s founder. Providers at the roundtable stressed that despite the challenges, Vermonters still receive a high quality of care. The meeting comes about a month before Vermont’s major hospitals are slated to present their budgets to the GMCB, and the pandemic and staffing challenges are once again expected to take center stage.