High Country, High Costs | VailDaily.com

High Country, High Costs

High Country, High Costs, Part 7: Vail Valley Medical Center expanding, facing new competition

April 7, 2017 — VAIL — Vail Valley Medical Center grew from a small town health clinic in the mid-1960s, and today depends greatly on its association with orthopedics clinics, primarily the Steadman Clinic and Vail-Summit Orthopedics, for its operating margins, CEO Doris Kirchner said. Indeed, five of the

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High Country, High Costs, Part 6: Some find partial solutions to health-care costs

April 6, 2017 — Sixth of seven parts. WESTERN COLORADO — The arid garden of affordable health care has sprouted some promising blooms in Colorado's mountain valleys, thanks to innovation, generosity and cooperation. In Pitkin County, a five-way partnership covering 21 percent of the people in the county and

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Vail Daily series, Part 5: Justifying care’s costs

April 5, 2017 — Fifth part of six. WESTERN COLORADO — Hospital bills in the high country are higher than in metro Denver — but that's inevitable anywhere there is a small population base, say hospital executives. The hospitals have to be big enough for the crush of ski

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High Country, High Costs, Part 4: Experts: Beware dismantling Obamacare

April 4, 2017 — Fourth part of six. WESTERN COLORADO — Sometimes Obamacare stories have happy endings, even in the mountain valleys of Colorado. And they are reminders of the potentially disastrous consequences of attempts to dismantle Obamacare, piecemeal or wholesale. Last year, Richard Backe, of Glenwood Springs, testified

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High Country, High Costs, Part 3: Why is the Western Slope unique?

April 3, 2017 — Part three of six. WESTERN COLORADO — People in the mountain resort towns of Colorado are used to spending 10 percent or 15 percent more for gasoline, groceries and housing. But why 50 percent or 80 percent more for health care? Aren't we healthy? Aren't

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High Country, High Costs, Part 2: Why health insurance can cost more than housing

April 2, 2017 — Second of six parts. WESTERN COLORADO — Garfield County resident Heather McGregor simply can't afford health insurance anymore, although she had it most of her life. Working part-time at a nonprofit, her cost this year would be a bit more than $1,000 a month for

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High Country, High Costs, Part 1: Active lives, few providers push up med costs

April 2, 2017 — First of six parts. WESTERN COLORADO — No, Colorado mountain resident, it's not simply your imagination. You still are paying some of the highest health care costs in the nation. Despite — or perhaps because of — the region's love of hiking, skiing, bicycling and

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