Vermont legislature renews debate over independent surgery center regulations — 6 insights

The Vermont House Health Care Committee discussed several regulatory measures to modify the state's surgery center approval process, VTDigger reports.

What you should know:

1. The committee considered a provider tax and a proposal that would grant the state's approval body budgetary review powers.

2. Advocates for independent surgery centers oppose both measures.

3. The provider tax would be a 6 percent tax footed by the surgery center. Because surgery centers operate at smaller margins than their hospital counterparts, the tax could make a significant impact on their bottom lines.

4. Granting the state review board budgetary approval powers would likely force surgery centers to write off a portion of their profits to fund the state review board.

5. Rep. Lori Houghton, D-Essex Junction, said the budgetary approval powers proposal would be implemented slowly to allow the board time to come up with an ASC-specific budgetary approval process.

6. The committee will hear testimony from the state's two ASCs at a future meeting.

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