Dec 9, 2010

Vermont Ranked Healthiest State in the Nation

The 2011 American Health Rankings® puts Vermont on top as the healthiest state in the nation.

Vermont has topped the list of healthiest states for the last four years of published reports. Vermont has had a steady climb in the Rankings for the last twelve years from a ranking of 17th in the 1997 and 1998 Editions.

Vermont's strengths as a healthy state include:
  • a high rate of high school graduation with 88.6 percent of incoming ninth graders who graduate within four years,
  • ready access to early prenatal care with 83.5 percent of pregnant women receiving prenatal care in the first trimester,
  • a low rate of uninsured population at 9.6 percent,
  • high public health funding at $177 per person,
  • a low percentage of children in poverty at 12.0 percent of persons under age 18 and
  • ready availability of primary care physicians with 170.7 primary care physicians per 100,000 population. 
Vermont's challenges include a high prevalence of binge drinking at 17.3 percent of the population and moderate immunization coverage with 89.8 percent of children ages 19 to 35 months receiving immunizations. 

To learn more, you can click here to view the Vermont e-rating report card (or any other state).  

The report also shows that since 1990, Vermont decreased cardiovascular deaths from 401.7 to 241.1 per 100,000 population. These successes indicate that change is possible for all states when there is a united front to make progress on health outcomes.

Oct 14, 2010

How Do I File a Lawsuit in Vermont for an Injury?

Vermont Law Pertaining To Personal Injury — A Q&A

If you have been injured and are considering filing a lawsuit for personal injury in Vermont, or if you are a Vermont resident who may have a claim in Vermont arising out of an injury suffered elsewhere, the following Q&A offers some introductory information to help you explore a potential lawsuit.

What is the role negligence plays in filing a personal injury lawsuit in Vermont?

Generally, a personal injury action requires an injury sustained as a result of the failure of another to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances. Under Vermont's comparative negligence statute the plaintiff may not recover damages if her negligence exceeds the negligence of the defendant. However, if the plaintiff's negligence is less than that of the defendant, the plaintiff's verdict will be reduced in proportion to the amount of negligence attributed to the plaintiff.

Are there special circumstances related to auto accident injuries and truck accident injuries in Vermont?

The law governing personal injuries resulting from motor vehicle accidents (including auto accidents, truck accidents, tractor trailer accidents, motorcycle accidents and bus accidents) can be found in Vermont's safety statutes and Vermont case law. Generally, drivers are required to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances in their operation of motor vehicles. Violation of Vermont's safety statutes constitutes a rebuttable presumption of negligence.

How long do I have after an accident to file a lawsuit? (What is the statute of limitations in Vermont?)

In order to preserve potential legal rights, contacting a personal injury attorney as soon as possible from the date of an injury or death is critical. All states have statutes of limitations which prohibit bringing old claims for personal injury or medical malpractice under certain circumstances. However, even if a person was injured some time ago, she may still be able to bring a claim despite these laws.

Generally, the statutes of limitations in Vermont require that personal injury and medical malpractice claims be brought within three years from the conduct giving rise to the claim, but there are significant exceptions to these laws. Consultation with an attorney specializing in Vermont personal injury lawsuits regarding the nuances of the applicable statute of limitations is important. Generally, the time periods do not begin to run until the injured party has or should have discovered her injury and the fact that it may have been caused by defendant's negligence.

More on Statute of Limitations in Vermont

Cases for wrongful death in Vermont must be brought within two years from the discovery of the death, subject to specific exceptions.

For cases relating to a skiing accident, the statute of limitations is only one year.

This information is adapted by permission from information published by Vermont personal injury attorneys at law firm Maley and Maley of Burlington, VT. For more information on personal injury law in VT and how to file a personal injury claim, please visit their web site for more details.

Oct 13, 2010

Vermont Patient Safety Data Available

From The Hill

Patient safety data made available: Comparative data on patient safety and hospital quality are available online for the first time thanks to the The Commonwealth Fund’s The new measures, developed by HHS' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, are available from data submitted by hospitals in nine states: Arizona, Florida, New York, Illinois, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont and Washington.

Aug 16, 2010

Report Names Vermont Least Successful in Med Mal Reform

A report by Pacific Research Institute (PRI) names Vermont, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Iowa as the least successful in improving their malpractice laws. According to an online news item from Health Care News published by the Heartland Institute (whoever they are):
“Vermont has no limits on noneconomic or punitive damages, no limits on how much of the damages the plaintiffs’ lawyers can seize, offers drug makers or medical-device makers no protection for being in compliance with FDA or FTC regulations, and does not qualify the credentials of expert witnesses at trials...”
Learn more here.

May 22, 2010

Vermont Medical Malpractice Claims Data

According to 2008 data from The Henry Kaiser Family Foundation's, Vermont led the nation in the average medical malpractice claim amount $839,119 (compared to $352,750 for the previous year). Certainly Vermont did not lead the total number of claims paid or the largest amounts paid. There were only 13 claims paid in Vermont in 2008.

When ranked by total dollars paid, Vermont comes in 45th out of 51 states (including D.C.).

See for more interesting data on Vermont and any other state, such as:

Apr 11, 2010

Doctor and Methadone Clinic Settle in Auto Fatality

NEWFANE, VT - A Vermont man having been treated at a Methadone clinic in Massachusetts had high levels of methadone in his system when he had a head-on auto accident, which killed an 8-year-old girl, according to autopsy results as reported by the Barre Montpelier Lawyers representing the girl's estate claimed the clinic and his personal physician failed to adequately monitor the man, settling the lawsuit for $1.8 million.

The news article states that girl's family sued:
"...Community Health Care Inc., which is based in Chicopee, Mass., and [the doctor] of Putney because of their care of [the man], who had a long history of heroin abuse and erratic driving, according to the suit filed in 2007 in Windham Superior Court. The case against [the doctor], who prescribed anti-anxiety medication for [the man] while he was on methadone, settled out of court in January, according to court records."
Read the full article here: Vermont methadone settlement.