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NO. 81. AN ACT RELATING TO THE HOSPITAL BUDGET REVIEW PROCESS.

(H.772)

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1. 18 V.S.A. § 9456 is amended to read:

§ 9456. BUDGET REVIEW

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(d) Beginning October 1, 1996, and annually thereafter, the commissioner shall consider the recommendations of the public oversight commission and*[, ]*establish a budget for each hospital*[, and each]* by September 15 followed by a written decision by October 1. Each hospital shall operate within the budget established under this section.

(e) The commissioner may establish, by rule, a process to define, on an annual basis, criteria for hospitals to meet, such as utilization and inflation benchmarks. The rule may permit the commissioner to waive one or more of the review processes listed in subsection (b) of this section, but not for more than one year consecutively.

*[(e)]*(f) The commissioner may, upon application, adjust a budget established under this section upon a showing of need based upon exceptional or unforeseen circumstances in accordance with the criteria and processes established under section 9406 of this title. *[(f)]*(g) The commissioner may request, and a hospital shall provide, information determined by the commissioner to be necessary to determine whether the hospital is operating within a budget established under this section. *[(g)]*(h) If a hospital violates a provision of this section, the commissioner may maintain an action in the superior court of the county in which the hospital is located to enjoin, restrain or prevent such violation.

Sec. 2. EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect on October 1, 2000.

Approved: April 13, 2000