Health Care Costs Leveling Out?The Green Mountain Care Board (GMCB), which exercises authority over budgets at Vermont’s 14 hospitals, has announced that preliminary 2015 budgets submitted by the hospitals reflect only a 2.6 percent increase in net patient revenue in the coming year. Final budgetary figures will be resolved by the end of September, on the basis of GMCB’s analysis and regulations, as well as input from public hearings.
The hospitals’ budgets for the current, 2014, fiscal year reflect a 2.7 percent increase in net patient revenue from 2013. While both years’ numbers suggest a flattening of the inflationary curve for health care costs, they only represent total revenue for the care—government and insurance payments, in addition to what the patients themselves pay. According to GMCB spokesman Mike Davis, “there’s no obvious, easy correlation” between the net patient revenue trend and where health care consumers’ costs are headed.
Unadilla Adds Two Encore Performances of PinaforeThis summer’s regularly scheduled performances of Gilbert and Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore at Unadilla Theatre in East Calais have sold out. Because of disappointed regular patrons, Unadilla’s owner and artistic director, Bill Blachly, has decided to add two encore performances of the classic light opera on Saturday and Sunday, July 26 and 27. Curtain for both shows is at 7:30 p.m.
Unadilla has a long tradition of staging Gilbert and Sullivan, but despite the popularity of its Gilbert and Sullivan productions, Unadilla has never before offered encore performances. Blachly said that it was asking a lot from cast members to put on the extra shows, but that this summer’s Pinafore is a stand-out production. “It is probably the best Gilbert and Sullivan we have done in the last 31 years.”
For further information, phone the Unadilla box office at 456-8968 or go online to unadilla.org.
Pie in Your FaceIn early August, Plainfield resident Lea Ann Cone will be launching Papa Tom’s Meat Pies, a new food enterprise featuring traditional British-style frozen meat pies.
“Papa Tom” refers to Lea Ann’s father, the ongoing inspiration for Lea Ann’s new undertaking. As a 12-year-old, growing up in her home country of South Africa, Lea Ann cooked nightly meals for her family, with her dad’s encouragement. “My dad ate it all,” she recalled. “No matter how undercooked, underproofed, over-salted, or just downright strange looking or tasting, he didn’t flinch.”
She went on to develop her cooking skills by taking a course in high school and has been cooking ever since. Her meat pies will be made from locally-sourced food, from family farms such as Plainfield’s Hollister Hill Farm and Cabot’s Maple Lane Farm. She will be using King Arthur flour and Cabot butter for her savory pastries. To begin, Papa Tom’s will offer four original meat pie recipes: coconut chicken curry, smoked ham and cheddar, spicy South African sausage, and spinach and feta (for vegetarian meat pie enthusiasts.)
To start out, Lea Ann will be placing Papa Tom’s meat pies in the frozen food aisle of local co-ops. In due course she will also be offering fresh-baked, ready-to-eat meat pies hot at selected locations.
Anyone who would like to place a meat pie order can go online to: Papatomsmeatpies@gmail.com