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Comment Archives: Stories: News + Opinion: Health Care

Re: “Nurse Shortage Puts Vermont Parents on the Hook for Kids' Care

As a professional caregiver, I would not want to be a home care provider for several reasons including low pay, uncompensated travel time, and wear and tear on my car. Not to mention, the added burden of traveling long distances to reach unplowed driveways in the winter and being alone should any unexpected medical emergency arise.

The government will need to reconsider how it reimburses such care if it wants to attract quality caregivers. And, this is just the tip of the iceberg folks. Nursing homes are grappling with constant understaffing as well and the situation will only worsen as the U.S. population continues to grow older and sicker.

Posted by Lisa McCormack on 10/17/2017 at 10:27 AM

Re: “Too Soon: Could the Suicide of a Burlington Artist Have Been Prevented?


Posted by shadow_lady on 10/04/2017 at 4:29 AM

Re: “Nurse Shortage Puts Vermont Parents on the Hook for Kids' Care

Low pay and lack of benefits is part of the problem. The work also lacks interaction with other staff. Team work, mutual support and socially enjoyable time at work are missing. The work may be very routine and lacks the variety of interesting patients which keeps nurses challenged and learning. I also do not know how quiet a home care nurse must be while the rest of the family is sleeping in the same home. Many home health nurses prefer to make shorter visits with several patients during daytime hous. And nurses are usually paid extra for the inconvenience of working night shifts. As a medical professional, I would choose a hospital or nursing home setting for all of these reasons even if the pay was equivalent. Even with better pay, finding nurses who want to do this working with this schedule may continue to be difficult.

Posted by lizzy6 on 09/24/2017 at 7:49 AM

Re: “Death by Drugs: Opiates Claimed a Record Number of Vermonters in 2016

Wow. Its always unfortunate when someone dies but drug addiction is a choice. Its sad that now because of opiate addiction treating drugs like suboxen are sonwidely used now is to generate a profit from addicts for the already bloated big pharma.

Posted by Mike Jokinen on 09/21/2017 at 12:42 PM

Re: “Nurse Shortage Puts Vermont Parents on the Hook for Kids' Care

My mom is on life support; we're running an ICU out of our living room. We get the highest amount of hours from IHSS and IHO, but we are currently getting NO help. We were turned away from every agency we called because no one could provide the hours of nursing care we needed. This left us hiring and training lay people, and paying 100% out of pocket. So basically we're entrusting my mother's life to people who have no medical training; that's scary.
However, as a med/surg nurse myself, I totally understand why RNs don't want to work in the home setting. Not only do you not have the support you'd get in an acute care environment (the home nurse is not only the RN, they're the CNA, the janitor, the unit secretary, the lift team, etc), nurses in home care are getting paid 1/4th the amount they would get paid in an acute care setting (at least in the San Francisco Bay Area where we live). I certainly wouldn't do it. Why would I take on all the responsibility only to be paid a fraction of what I'm worth? I hope things change, not only for my family but for every family who has a medically complex loved one at home, but in order for that to happen the government has to be able to pay at a competitive rate.

Posted by Kylie Elizabeth on 09/03/2017 at 5:13 PM

Re: “Million-Dollar Question: How Much Should Nonprofit Hospital CEOs Earn?

I see no problem with this, managing an institution this big is no easy job nor a job most people would even want (like a doctor). Go to school kids if you want to make big bucks, give up your family life, your life, and work almost 24/7 I imagine. When a well tuned hospital saves your life you may think differently.

2 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by Pixelvt on 08/28/2017 at 2:45 PM

Re: “Million-Dollar Question: How Much Should Nonprofit Hospital CEOs Earn?

Angela Allard
So, how about we relieve their strain and let them see their families. For those salaries we can divide up that money and hire seven more people to do that same work.
For the joker making over two million, we could hire 20 people at 100K/year to do his job and more.

16 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by FreedomToThink on 08/25/2017 at 11:42 PM

Re: “Million-Dollar Question: How Much Should Nonprofit Hospital CEOs Earn?

I'm not sure how this "Nonprofit" stuff works really, but those numbers sound pretty darn profitable to me... For the right people of course.

14 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by FreedomToThink on 08/25/2017 at 11:39 PM

Re: “Nurse Shortage Puts Vermont Parents on the Hook for Kids' Care

To have this article running at the same time as the article about the level of compensation given to the highest members of the staff at UVM shows that we are spending our health dollars unwisely. Duh! That's been obvious for years. When the amount to care for 16 high-tech patients is well under the annual salary of the head of UVMMC, something is seriously wrong with what we are doing. 700 hours a week of nursing care for these patients is less than a full-time executive makes? Ridiculous allocation of resources.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Barbara Alsop on 08/25/2017 at 4:02 PM

Re: “Million-Dollar Question: How Much Should Nonprofit Hospital CEOs Earn?

I have no affiliation with UVM Med or any of the people in this list but have had the opportunity to sit on Boards with several of those on that list. I can only say that these people work an insane amount. How they ever see their families is a mystery to me. I don't think they sit in a plush office all day and take naps. Their time is scheduled beyond belief. Meetings, committees, boards and unexpected problems are squeezed between usual responsibilities in a work day that stretches well beyond 9 to 5. And they are on call 24/7 for problems. I truly can't imagine how many hours many of these folks work each week. Board meetings often last well into the evening with food brought in for participants to scoop out while talking and listening and paying attention to the information being provided. I'm betting there are early morning "breakfast" meetings that look similar. So at the very least, let's assume many folks on this list work twice as many hours as the average person and are way more educated than most of the population and have knowledge and affiliations available to only a select few, does their pay seem somewhat more "earned"?? It does to me. And what is the value of their time away from friends and family, the other sacrifices they make and the impact this lifestyle has on their health. And what impact do they have on our futures and the future beyond us? Quality health Care is rated among one of the most important priorities to Americans. These people are way way above my pay grade for a good reason. Just some food for thought.

11 likes, 30 dislikes
Posted by Angela Allard on 08/24/2017 at 12:59 PM

Re: “Million-Dollar Question: How Much Should Nonprofit Hospital CEOs Earn?

Sorry for the mispell, I meant Bumstead>

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Walter Moses on 08/24/2017 at 11:44 AM

Re: “Million-Dollar Question: How Much Should Nonprofit Hospital CEOs Earn?

Mr. Quintana, who is "he"? Mr. Bomstead?

Posted by Walter Moses on 08/24/2017 at 11:42 AM

Re: “Million-Dollar Question: How Much Should Nonprofit Hospital CEOs Earn?

Jay-Man - the medical school is part of the university, which is a wholly separate non-profit (that has its own high salaries). The medical center is distinct from the university, even though they share a name as a result of collaboration over teaching medical residents.

6 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Nate Awrich on 08/23/2017 at 2:27 PM

Re: “Million-Dollar Question: How Much Should Nonprofit Hospital CEOs Earn?

Where does he live? If it is on the bus line we should organize a protest in front of his house. Does anyone know?

10 likes, 17 dislikes
Posted by Leopoldo Quintana on 08/23/2017 at 11:37 AM

Re: “Million-Dollar Question: How Much Should Nonprofit Hospital CEOs Earn?

UVM's medical school does not rank that highly compared to the other institutions quoted in this article:

Duke #7, Vanderbilt #14, Dartmouth #35, UVM #54…

19 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Jay-Man on 08/23/2017 at 11:33 AM

Re: “Million-Dollar Question: How Much Should Nonprofit Hospital CEOs Earn?

"She also noted that they preside over a large and complicated organization. The UVM Medical Center has about 7,500 employees and collects nearly $1.3 billion in annual revenue; many of its top executives also oversee five other hospitals affiliated with the medical center."

The bigger UVMMC gets, the more management salaries will rise to justify the "complicated organization."

27 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Jay-Man on 08/23/2017 at 11:27 AM

Re: “Nurse Shortage Puts Vermont Parents on the Hook for Kids' Care

The biggest tragedy is the money wasted in government could easily cover the cost of providing service that is needed. $2M here, $3M there, $4M saved and funding is available to hire more nurses at deserved salaries. But unfortunately on our present course this will continue to be a struggle for these families.

6 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Veggiguy on 08/17/2017 at 3:12 PM

Re: “Nurse Shortage Puts Vermont Parents on the Hook for Kids' Care

Really great article! A good follow up would be to interview the nurses themselves. Find out why they aren't flocking to Home Health Care! Based on nurses I've spoken with, it's the pay and benefits. In fact, research this: Are VNA agencies not employing additional staff at "Full-Time status" because of the added costs related to Health Insurance requirements? We've all read about how small businesses are cutting down on full time staff in favor of part time staff as then they don't need to provide health insurance benefits. Are the costs of insurance and forcing employers to provide them causing our own residents to suffer?

15 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Scott Grant on 08/16/2017 at 5:24 PM

Re: “Nurse Shortage Puts Vermont Parents on the Hook for Kids' Care

Bravo for finally running an article on this topic. As a parent with a medically fragile child, the situation in VT is grim; our experiences with high tech in-home nursing with VNA has been less than stellar. In large part, as you mention, the pay stinks and their is few supports for in-home nursing.

21 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Kirsten Isgro on 08/16/2017 at 3:34 PM

Re: “Vermont Fights Opiates With More Opiates. Is There a Better Way?

This article COMPLETELY IGNORES 5 decades of evidence...

MAT, in and of itself, is NOT TREATMENT.... It is harm reduction... MAT with methadone and buprenorphine cuts death rates by 50% or more-- look at the data, Mark...

For example:

How do you explain these results?

A rise in death rates is despite -- not by virtue of-- methadone and suboxone "treatment" (which really is not treatment but just a way to cut death rates... by the way, the Chittenden Clinic here in Vermont offers evidence-based treatment such as CBT and Motivational Interviewing) is due to fentanyl and senseless drug laws.

Posted by Zach Rhoads on 07/13/2017 at 7:44 PM

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