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News in Brief

Aspen Valley Hospital will hire a full-time attorney next year to ensure the hospital does not violate the complex codes and regulations of federal and state health care programs.

The hiring follows an announcement made in July by AVH officials that the hospital was struggling to comply with regulations governing the federal health programs Medicare and Medicaid.



Local attorney and hospital board member Elaine Gerson was contracted by AVH to bring the hospital into compliance. Gerson’s work will be brought in-house next year, as the hospital creates the position of chief compliance officer.

The hospital advertised the job this week; Gerson will likely not fill the position because of her position on the board of trustees.




Hospital CEO David Ressler said this week that by creating a salaried position, the hospital can save the money spent on hourly attorney bills.

Tourists from the Windy City may have an easier time blowing through Eagle County next summer.

Local merchants are rallying the county board of commissioners to add a direct flight from Chicago to the Eagle County Regional Airport’s 2005 summer air service. The group, which consists of 29 local businesses, wants the county to commit to adding the flight in time for the upcoming tourism peak.

“We would love a message out there during the Christmas holiday,” said Frank Johnson, executive director of the Vail Valley Chamber and Tourism Bureau.

The Chicago area is Eagle County’s third largest tourism market in the summer, Johnson said. The merchants have pledged $335,000 to help get that flight, and two existing ones, into the airport this summer. But county commissioners say they want hard numbers to prove it before giving the OK.