Vail Daily letter: Hold VVMC accountable
October 6, 2016
Friday night, we rushed my wife to Vail Valley Medical Center in severe pain. We were greeted with open, caring arms. Drs. Ken and John, Mary, Sam, Lisa and others quickly took control, diagnosed and solved the problem. Thank you all for the wonderful treatment with true loving care.
Then Saturday morning (Sept. 24), I pick up the Vail Daily and read Chris Neuswanger's article and suddenly VVMC as an organization had a whole new light shining on it. Great care is wonderful, but where does sucking a million smackers in excess revenues per week from the community fit in? Liquid assets of $275 million and $67,000 in charity care. (That's .0268 percent of liquid assets.) Really! Wow, what generosity.
A visit to the VVMC website lists numerous goals and some very nice words in a mission statement. Sorely lacking is any mention of affordability. Under the "care philosophy" tab one finds the following statement: The RBC (Relationship-Based Care) model is also based on keeping the patient's and family's interests at heart when making decisions about care and creating hospital policies. We just had a very positive experience on the care side, but does anyone think that a hospital policy of charging an extra $52 million is keeping the patient's and family's financial interests at heart? I'll go with probably not.
Not to mention the $5 million per bed expansion when new build averages $2 million per. I wonder what Ms. Kirchner's bonus was for overseeing that debacle. What happened to CEO accountability?
Not for profit means not for profit, it doesn't mean $275 million in liquid assets and $52 million in excess revenues while providing $67,000 in charity care.
Perhaps it's time for Ms. Kirchner or any and/or all of the VVMC and Vail Health Services board members to step up and do their part in making Happy Valley a little more affordable for us locals.
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