UVM Health Network submits FY22 budget for its Vermont hospitals

Vermont Business Magazine As the UVM Health Network continues to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and a widespread cyberattack, the FY 2022 budget submission filed today with the Green Mountain Care Board focuses on advancing the Network’s commitment to serve patients with the highest quality care and services at the lowest possible cost. The combined net patient revenue increase is 6 percent.

The submission, which covers the Network’s three Vermont-based hospitals, advances health care reform efforts across the Network, budgets the necessary investments needed to respond to the changing health care needs within the communities it serves and reinforces the commitment to preserve access to care. The combined submission provides:

  • A combined net patient service revenue increase of 6%, which is driven by increased patient care needs, population growth and aging demographics.
  • A combined commercial rate increase of 7.03%, which funds inflationary pressures and makes up for lower-than-inflation reimbursement rates from government payers.
  • A margin target of 2.85%, which is essential for stability, the ability to invest in people, equipment and facilities, and is a key indicator of financial health as determined by bond rating agencies.

The combined budgets submitted for the Network’s three Vermont hospitals – the UVM Medical Center, UVMHN-Central Vermont Medical Center and UVMHN-Porter Hospital (part of Porter Medical Center) – will support the Network as it moves through recovery while focusing on long-term sustainability during a time of health care reform. The FY 2022 submission charts the course for efforts aimed at restoring financial health for the nonprofit Network over the next three years.

“We are continuing the long-term work of carefully emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, a process that will take years,” said John R. Brumsted, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer of the UVM Health Network. “Through careful and deliberate expense management, we are aiming to keep costs down while ensuring we move forward with the high quality care and services our patients need and deserve. We will continue to provide full transparency as we move together out of the pandemic and face the lingering challenges it brings.”

Across the country, hospitals and health systems are working to restore operations after the pandemic, yet doing so with great uncertainty with regard to patient demand for services and whether new vaccination efforts will be needed to advance boosters or a potential variant-driven COVID-19 resurgence in the fall. The UVM Health Network has submitted its budget request amid this uncertainty, unable to clearly predict how patients will choose to access the care they need now and in the future, or gauge whether the pandemic caused a pent-up demand for health care needs delayed or put on hold.

A critical factor in the budget review process is the commercial rate request for each hospital. For FY 2022, the UVM Medical Center seeks a 7.05% increase; CVMC seeks a 7.41% increase; Porter seeks a 5.86% increase. These requests come after considerable deliberation, and after several years of approved increases below health care inflation. The increases are driven by increased patient care needs and inflationary pressures outside of the hospitals’ control, such as salary increases for providers and staff and continued underpayment from government payers. The FY 2022 budget does not seek to cover the cost of the cyberattack experienced in the fall of 2020.

While the most severe consequences of the pandemic are receding, the affiliates of the UVM Health Network are now coping with the after-effects. As vaccination levels approached 80% in Vermont and 70% in New York, Network hospitals began to experience a surge in high acuity Emergency Department visits and inpatient stays. From what is known now, this surge can be attributed in large part to both care that was delayed and a high volume of patients with a primary condition of mental illness.

“We have worked hard to ensure the budget submitted is as lean as possible, but will allow these three hospitals to continue providing the care our patients need. We look forward to working with the Green Mountain Care Board to ensure a sustainable financial path,” Dr. Brumsted said.

As a Network, we remain deeply committed to advancing health care reform in Vermont. COVID-19 has shown us, again, that a reliable and resilient health care system is essential to our state’s health, and that changing how we pay for, organize, and evaluate our health care system is remains a pressing need.

UVM Medical Center

“UVM Medical Center has been proud to work with the state of Vermont and community partners to help keep our communities safe. Now, as we welcome patients back for care delayed because of the pandemic, we must make some strategic investments. We also must remain prepared to address lingering threats from COVID-19,” said Stephen Leffler, MD, UVM Medical Center President and Chief Operating Officer. “This FY 2022 budget will allow us to fulfill our mission of providing high quality, safe patient care and begin to address current and future needs.”


“CVMC served as a critical resource for the Central Vermont community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As we emerge from this challenge, our FY 2022 budget focuses on long-term financial stability and continuing to provide high quality care,” said Anna Tempesta Noonan, RN, BSN, MS, UVMHN-Central Vermont Medical Center President and Chief Operating Officer.

Porter Hospital

“The COVID-19 pandemic has presented serious financial challenges for all hospitals, including Porter. We worked quickly to reduce expenses where possible and used available state and federal funds to ensure the safety of our patients and staff, all while maintaining high quality care. Our FY 2022 budget now focuses on emerging from the pandemic on strong financial footing for the future,” said Tom Thompson, UVMHN-Porter Medical Center President and Chief Operating Officer. “We know the importance of Porter to our community, and we are committed to maintaining the services our community deserves.”

About The University of Vermont Health Network

The University of Vermont Health Network is an academic health system that is comprised of six affiliate hospitals, a multi-specialty medical group, and a home health agency. We serve the residents of Vermont and northern New York with a shared mission: working together, we improve people’s lives. Our partners include:

Our 4,000 health care professionals are driven to provide high-quality, cost-efficient care as close to home as possible. Strengthened by our academic connection to the University of Vermont, each of our hospitals remains committed to its local community by providing compassionate, personal care shaped by the latest medical advances and delivered by highly skilled experts.

Source: 7.1.2021. BURLINGTON, Vt. – As the UVM Health Network UVMHealth.org/MedCenter