Two Vermont politicians have flexed their muscles in recent days and won the Vermont State Hospital yet another chance to regain federal certification and funding.
Earlier today, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, hosted a meeting between two top staff at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Vermont's Mental Health commissioner, Michael Hartman.
Vermont officials have felt they couldn't get a fair break from federal regulators when it came to evaluating the state hospital. It seemed the hospital reputation from year's past tainted each recent inspection.
Today, however, Hartman reported "a very positive meeting." He expects the state will reapply for certification a few weeks.
About 10 days ago, Gov. Jim Douglas had called one of the officials at the Sanders' meeting to also press the state's case for another chance. His phone call prompted CMS to say the state could reapply and wouldn't have to start at step one.
Sen. Diane Snelling, R-Chittenden, participated in the Sanders' meeting by telephone. "It is fascinating to me to see how effective a senator can be," she said. A governor too, one could add.
-- Nancy Remsen
Labels: Gov. Jim Douglas, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Vermont State Hospital