Vail Daily letter: Bad decision, worse execution |

Vail Daily letter: Bad decision, worse execution

Rich Selph
Phase III patient

Part of the excellence of the Vail Valley Medical Center is the Cardiac Rehab Program run by local treasure Jeanne Stough. This award-winning rehabilitation serves both Phase II patients who have had recent heart events and Phase III patients who either have had past heart events or are considered to be vulnerable to one. This valuable wellness and preventive care has long been a community service in keeping with the high standards and mission of the VVMC.

Someone in upper management there, however, is terribly out of sync. Phase III patients, who are all self-pay, have just been advised that the fees will quadruple to an unaffordable level, effectively shutting down this small but cherished Vail institution. And this will happen in less than 30 days, becoming effective Nov. 1, leaving precious little time to make other plans or adapt. (Unofficial word has it that the driving force is the CFO.)

It is certainly possible that the VVMC is in financial crisis. However, absent that context, treating this elderly, vulnerable group in this manner seems heartless and greedy. Most of them have been patients at VVMC, receiving services that have contributed large amounts of money to the bottom line and will probably be doing so at some point in the future. This short-sighted decision will certainly not be a positive longevity factor!

As bad as the decision is, the method and speed of implementation is even worse, hardly the “best practices” that VVMC rightly prides itself on.

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