HHS wants Vermont to reconsider Part D strategy

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted June 21, 2010

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

Dept. of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sent a June 11 letter to Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas urging him to reconsider plans to reduce state benefits to seniors who are enrolled in the state's low-income prescription assistance program, called VPharm.

Vermont is considering the move in response to new Medicare drug benefit rebate checks. The $250 federal rebates are being mailed to seniors who enter the Part D "doughnut hole" this year as a first step toward closing the coverage gap under the health system reform law.

Seniors who enter the Part D coverage gap often have serious illnesses and need financial help, Sebelius said. VPharm requires beneficiaries to pay premiums and does not cover all of seniors' drug costs, she added.

Note: This item originally appeared at

Back to top



Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story

Read story


American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story

Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story

Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story

Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story

Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story

Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story

Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn