August 20th, 2019

Why Not Keep Jobs in Vermont?

The University of Vermont “Health Network” and Central Vermont Medical Center do not believe in hiring Vermont residents to do even fundamental tasks of billing and crediting payments. Instead, as I learned today when looking at a bill from CVMC, Central Vermont Medical Center lists its address as P. O. Box 473, Amherst, NH, a small town in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, one town up from the Massachusetts border.

The University of Vermont “Health Network” and Central Vermont Medical Center, it would appear, prefer to provide employment to citizens of New Hampshire, rather than citizens of Vermont. (Could it be that New Hampshire has a minimum wage nearly $1.50/hour lower than Vermont? Just wondering…)

Even more interesting is that the CVMC Controller, who has been on board for a little less than two years, is unaware that CMCV outsources its billing to ElectroMedical Associates, LLC in Amherst, NH. Controller Joseph Irwin is thus, probably also unaware that ElectroMedical Associates describes itself as “the first collection agency in New Hampshire specializing in physician and hospital medical claims.”

We hear a lot of talk about creating jobs for Vermonters, keeping jobs for our neighbors and family members here in Vermont. There are skilled workers and resourceful entrepreneurs here in Vermont. Vermont state government should be encouraging entities like the Central Vermont Medical Center to keep billing and receipts work in-house with the HIPAA privacy protections that go along with that. If, for some reason that is not possible, Vermont State government should be supporting the development of Vermont businesses to provide such services in Vermont, not out-of-state, thus providing employment for Vermont citizens and corporate and personal tax revenues as well.

As the Legislature contemplates how to allocate scarce financial resources, I hope it is assuring that support for Vermont businesses and for business development in Vermont goes to small businesses, rather than gargantuan monoliths, like the foreign company that proposes to purchase the IBM plant in Essex, Vermont.

Alexandra Thayer
Plainfield, VT

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