Legislative task force on rural health starts work

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MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — A legislative committee is studying what could happen if one or more of Vermont’s rural hospitals shut down.

The Rural Health Task Force was created after Springfield Hospital announced it had lost $14 million over the past two years. Vermont Public Radio reports that the committee met for the first time this week, and has until Dec. 15 to make recommendations about the state’s struggling health care system.

The 14-member group includes representatives from hospitals, state health officials, nursing homes and other groups. Laura Pelosi, who represents long-term care facilities, said the biggest threat is a workforce shortage.

Springfield Hospital announced last month it likely will declare bankruptcy this summer in an effort to restructure its debt and remain open.

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