NMC’s proposed FY’23 budget was presented to the Green Mountain Care Board (which regulates Vermont hospitals and insurance companies) on August 17. NMC’s budget request contains a 9.4% rate increase and results in a narrow (but positive) 1% operating margin. It is the result of significant work by department and unit and practice directors and managers across the organization in collaboration with NMC’s Finance team. It is built on the best information NMC had and represents the hospital’s best effort to balance retention, improvement, sustainability, access, and affordability.
NMC heard positive comments from the GMCB for “the clarity and inspiration” in the presentation with “clear explanation of assumptions” and recognition that the budget had been created “in such a thoughtful way.”
CFO Stephanie Breault did a remarkable job in outlining the details of our FY’23 budget. Breault was joined in the presentation by Board Chair Jake Holzscheiter, CMQO Dr. John Minadeo, community partner Pam Parsons of NOTCH (speaking to the Primary Care transition) and Jonathan Billings as interim CEO – with Manager of Budgets & Decision Support Devin Bachelder fielding the technical financial questions.
GMCB member Tom Walsh, who has strong profession experience in process improvement, commented on NMC’s work on high reliability saying: “You’re on the right path.” The entire board was impressed with NMC’s commitment to quality, as presented by Dr. Minadeo, and Walsh said NMC could stand as an example to other hospitals around the state. One of the only public comments came from Cathy Fulton of the Vermont Program for Quality in Healthcare who said she had seen NMC’s amazing practices in action on a recent visit and shared that her organization has invited NMC to present to the quality directors’ network.
The Office of the Healthcare Advocate was represented at the hearing by Sam Peisch. He said he appreciated NMC’s humility in our fledgling approach to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and applauded the new process used to create the Community Health Needs Assessment which used a new and intentionally inclusive process.
In closing remarks Interim CEO Billings said: “I am deeply proud of the entire NMC team, especially the care we provide our community; our focus on quality improvement; and the tireless effort of our staff to meet community need, despite being routinely over capacity. We are grateful for the work and involvement of our community partners as the hospital cannot do all this alone. We were glad for the opportunity to share with the GMCB the challenges and opportunities and details of our budget request. Our community board and our leadership team understand the significance of a 9.4% request and that’s why we held our margin to 1% and kept our revenue within the cap the GMCB established. We hope they will find this budget request, as our board did, to be reasonable and responsible.”