“We are taking steady steps toward stabilizing costs and improving health. Vermont is on a clear path to stability and now, more than ever, it is the right time to continue to work together to achieve these critically important goals.”
As I look back on 2019, I want to reflect on how Vermont’s health care system and our work at OneCare is shaping the future.
Our state is at a pivotal point in health care, and by working together, we’ve established a pathway toward real health care reform. Vermont has grappled with the issues of rising health care costs and an increasingly aging, rural population that is dealing with barriers to health care access and management of chronic conditions. But we are taking steady steps toward stabilizing costs and improving health. Vermont is on a clear path to stability and now, more than ever, it is the right time to continue to work together to achieve these critically important goals.
By building a health care system that encourages providers to focus on wellness, we’re turning away from unrestrained cost growth and creating a foundation for accountable, high-quality care that will positively impact the health of Vermonters.
Pioneering a new model takes real commitment – commitment that requires effort and takes time. The concept of health care reform isn’t new. But the all-payer ACO model, signed into existence by the state of Vermont, the Green Mountain Care Board, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, is a unique approach that is specifically tailored to Vermont.
I want to make it clear that the progress we’ve made thus far is not ours alone. Health care reform happens system-wide, and our job is to move forward, year over year. We must all work together across organizational lines to strengthen our new system – one that pays for wellness, not illness; one that improves health for all Vermonters. That’s why OneCare works with independent primary care, hospitals, mental health agencies, eldercare, insurance companies, and state and federal governments to reach our shared goals and create this lasting change.
We know we are making progress because our network is growing. We pool resources to pay providers when Vermonters go to the doctor for check-ups, and when their health improves. We build relationships and share information that will help our providers care for community members. Because care delivery innovation is core to our work, OneCare’s Innovation Fund granted over $1 million in 2019 to support seven programs that improve health care. We invest in population health strategies and prevention to benefit communities across Vermont.
To all of our health care workers and partners, thank you for the vital contributions you make each day to keep Vermonters healthy. I am deeply proud of the hard work we are all doing to join providers and communities together to improve the health of Vermonters, and to build a sustainable system that will improve the quality of health care and last for years to come.