Vail Daily letter: Doesn’t seem right |

Vail Daily letter: Doesn’t seem right

Rich Selph
Vail, CO, Colorado

One of the Vail Valley Medical Center’s community-service programs, Cardiac Rehab Phase III, has won awards and achieved celebrated successes in wellness and preventive medicine. The CFO has suddenly decided that VVMC cannot afford this community service, which it has subsidized for years.

I have tremendous respect for VVMC, and the CFO must be a smart, talented guy. However, there is some fuzzy thinking going on here. According to the CFO, the program costs $4 for every $1 in income. Will quadrupling the fees address this? Not likely. The non-economic fees (a multiple of health-club membership costs) will cause many to drop out. This reminds me of the airline bean-counters at Pan Am who cut the flights that were losing money only to discover that this saved some money but spread other costs over other flights, resulting in a whole new set of flights that lost money.

VVMC is rightly known for good management and best practices. A first principle of leadership is that the boss lets managers take credit for good news and positive developments, but when the going gets tough, it is the boss who stands up to deliver bad news. What happened here?

Considering VVMC’s mission statement, it is hard to imagine that this shortsighted decision will not be revisited by wiser heads.

Rich Selph


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