By Courier Staff

St. Albans: The Green Mountain Care Board will allow prices at hospitals to go up an average of 1.8 percent in the upcoming fiscal year, but will hold Northwestern Medical Center’s rates alone.

The board, which regulates hospitals’ budgets and insurance prices, finished approving the prices for Vermont’s 14 hospitals Thursday. The board’s accountants are still calculating how much revenue those new prices will take in.nmc-hospital

The results leave $2.4 billion in hospital budgets largely unchanged. Even though numerous hospitals took in more money for care than they were supposed to in 2015 or are expected to do so in 2016, none will be forced to decrease how much they charge insurance companies starting Oct. 1.

The St. Albans based hospital asked for a 2.9% price increase from the board. That request was shot down.

In 2015 the hospital reported bringing in $188 million in revenue from patient services. That’s up from $44.8 million ten years ago, according to documents made available to the Courier recently.

According to the hospital’s own documents, the facility admitted 6.5% less patients this year than last.

In fiscal year 2017, the only hospital that will lower its prices is Rutland Regional Medical Center, which asked to drop its prices 5.1 percent. Copley Hospital in Morrisville will not see a price increase because it didn’t request one, but it will be required to return to the board in December to discuss its budget.

The University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington and Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin, which are both part of the UVM Health Network, will raise prices. The two hospitals originally requested increases of 3 percent, but the board reduced those to 2.45 percent.

The University of Vermont’s overall budget last year was $1.02 billion.