It's time for the employees of Rutland Regional Medical Center to put their paperwork where their hearts are.

The hospital, located in Rutland, Vermont, is in the midst of a dependent eligibility audit, designed to ensure that every employee family member who receives health coverage from RRMC is actually eligible for that coverage. Every employee, from CEO to chief surgeon to janitor, must show copies of their marriage certificates, their children's birth certificates, and the first page of their most recent tax returns, with numerical amounts blacked out, to demonstrate that they are currently married and are legally the parents of any children they claim as dependents on the hospital's health plan.

"We're in this market of continuing escalating health care costs. We need to contain costs and still offer a competitive benefits plan. This is a good way to make sure we're offering coverage to the right people," says Allison Wollen, the hospital's vice president of human resources, who helped decide on and implement the audit. "Having people on the plan who shouldn't be on the plan results in higher utilization, and then everyone pays more."

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