- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 22, 2016

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin said he’s optimistic Republican President-elect Donald Trump will support the state’s health care payment reform plan that promotes services that keep people healthy rather than treating them when they get sick because efforts to control health care spending are a bi-partisan issue.

Vermont Public Radio reported (https://goo.gl/W7Je6F ) that Shumlin believes Trump will explore more effective ways of paying for health care to improve quality and reduce quantity.

“Everybody gets that if health care costs keep rising faster than our incomes we’re never going to achieve the kind of prosperity that the middle class is so frustrated at not having been delivered on,” Shumlin said.

Republican Gov.-elect Phil Scott also has urged the incoming Trump administration to support the idea.

“I hope that they don’t pull the plug on something that was worked on apparently for a couple of years and has the support of many,” Scott said.

Vermont and federal officials this year signed an agreement allowing the state to move away from the current fee-for-service system. Last month state health care regulators approved the plan.

Once the new system, which stresses primary care services, is implemented, health care providers would be given a set amount of money for each person they care for. If the person needs little care, the provider would be able to keep the money not spent; if the person needs more care, the provider would have to perform the service without receiving additional money.

Implementation of the system is set to begin in January. By the second year of the agreement it’s hoped the new system will cover 36 percent of the health care services provided in the state. By the sixth year the system is supposed to reach 70 percent.

The system will be implemented over the next three years, and the state or federal government can withdraw with six months’ notice.

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Information from: WVPS-FM, https://www.vpr.net

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