The wrong tactic | AspenTimes.com

The wrong tactic

Editor’s note: This letter was originally addressed to Aspen Valley Hospital.Dear Editor:I have enclosed my check to cover outstanding debts owed Aspen Valley Hospital for services rendered to me and for which I am responsible.However, I must express my dismay that the current administration of AVH deems it necessary to use collection agencies to recover lost remuneration due to its own gross mismanagement. It is my understanding that AVH lost control over its internal accounting and billing some years ago and subsequently contracted third parties to clean up the mess. This has resulted in former patients receiving bills “out of the blue,” often years later. We may not remember what the services were for or why our insurance did not cover the expenses. Since we did not know there were outstanding debts, we could not budget our resources accordingly. The final insult comes with a call from a collection agency insinuating we have been derelict in paying our bills. Meanwhile, AVH administrators distance themselves and remain inaccessible to our queries, hiding behind their hired help.I suspect the reason AVH cannot keep its house in order is due to its reluctance to hire the necessary staff to do so. Labor can be purchased so much cheaper elsewhere. This tactic may have worked to produce an attractive financial picture in its annual report, but any attributable savings most likely disappeared in the substantial salaries awarded to upper management. We will probably never know, since this public-subsidized institution refuses to open its books to the very community that supports it.I urge city of Aspen officials to hold AVH more accountable for its operations.Sharon RolzinBasalt

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