WAMC News, North Country News
4:49 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Vermont Health Committee Reviews Health and Mental Health Issues

A panel of state lawmakers met on Wednesday to tackle some major health and mental health issues facing Vermont as it moves toward a single payer health system.

The Health Access Oversight Committee, comprised of both House and Senate members, held a day-long session to review numerous health and mental health issues. The Committee meets when the Legislature is not in session to assure that there are no barriers to health care.  
Senate Health and Welfare Committee Chair Senator Claire Ayer is co-Chair of the Oversight committee.

Wednesday’s discussion included a review of the implementation of health care information technology systems.  Department of Vermont Health Access Blueprint for Health Director Craig Jones says while the meeting is an opportunity to update legislators on various health care reform efforts, the focus on infrastructure is critical.

Craig Jones provided detailed information to legislators on the build out of systems leading to a centralized registry that will be an integral part of the state’s health care reform.

The Oversight Committee reviewed a number of other topics during the day-long session.  Concerns include a lawsuit filed in late 2011 regarding backlogs in investigating abuse and exploitation cases at Adult Protective Services and a recent death at the Brattleboro Retreat. Again, Senator Claire Ayer.

Legislators were also updated on plans for a new state psychiatric facility in Berlin. The Oversight Committee submits a report in January to appropriate legislative committees with recommendations for action.