Vermont is looking to revamp how we pay for health care

Vermont is looking to revamp how we pay for health care. The state has seen double-digit rate hikes for hospitals and insurance premiums for years. Now, officials are applying to the federal government’s next health care reform experiment called the AHEAD model. It will draw down more Medicare funds to allow more investments in mental health, substance use treatment, primary and preventive care. “There are a lot of factors contributing to the growth of health care costs, but there are a number of elements in the AHEAD model that we can continue to work on and hopefully impact affordability,” said Pat Jones, the interim director of the Office of Health Care Reform within the Vt. Agency of Human Services. Officials believe this will save money in the long run. Vermont’s application follows eight years of the “all-payer” model, which also aimed to invest in primary and preventive care but did the opposite of bringing down costs. If approved, the nine-year agreement would begin in 2026.