Interim CEO lists AVH’s financial improvements |

Interim CEO lists AVH’s financial improvements

Eben Harrell

Aspen Times Staff WriterAspen Valley Hospital’s financial situation has stabilized and is now ready for large-scale improvements, interim CEO Bob Karp said.At Monday’s board meeting Karp laid out a map of how the hospital pulled itself out of financial crisis and the steps it should take to strengthen its position. His presentation at the meeting may be his last – a new CEO will be announced in the next week – and had the air of a farewell speech.To pull itself from financial crisis, Karp said, the hospital:• Made leadership changes, including dismissing CEO Randy Middlebrook and chief financial officer Verna Bartlett;• Underwent a comprehensive financial analysis lead by Karp and hospital financial expert Jim Carris. In this process officials learned the extent of AVH’s problems, discovering that its estimated $3.5 million operating loss was actually closer to $12 million;• Addressed problems in billing, reducing the amount of unbilled charges from $7 million to $1.5 million;• Fired its auditing firm and hired a new company after BKD in Boulder failed to alert the hospital to its impending crisis;• Laid off 10 percent of its work force;• And saved $800,000 by cutting its physician contracts. Local doctors had been subsidized by the hospital to practice in the area.Karp then listed his vision for AVH’s future. He suggested:• The hiring of a new CEO, which should be complete in a matter of weeks;• Building AVH into a “destination hospital” through an affiliation with a major orthopedic or plastic surgery institution;• Expansion of midvalley services so patients in the hospital’s district don’t leak to Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs;• And a new hospital either at the same location or at a different site.

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