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VVH to close Acute Rehabilitation Unit

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Valley View Hospital will close its Acute Rehabilitation Unit on October 10.

The service, established in 1999, provided focused, results-oriented inpatient rehabilitation by a team of multi-disciplinary professionals. The program helped patients who had experienced a loss of functional capability after an illness or accident, focusing on returning to their daily lives.

The closure will effect four nursing positions and is due to more stringent government regulations for specialized services such as Acute Rehabilitation, which have in turn resulted in very low patient volumes according to Valley View Hospital Human Resources Director, Daniel Biggs.



“It’s unfortunate that we would have to lose this program,” Biggs said. “But as of late we don’t see a way that we can keep it running.”

Biggs noted that for the past several years, the program only had one or two patients per week. Not enough to justify the funding needed to sustain the staff.



“It’s a program for patients that have fairly complex or significant rehabilitation needs, like with hip replacements or a patient who’s suffered a stroke,” Biggs said. “While that does happen here, it doesn’t happen enough for us to keep this unit open.”

The unit utilized physical, occupational and speech therapists from the hospital’s outpatient rehabilitation department. As a result, therapy-oriented employees will be reassigned to other areas of need, according to Biggs.

The four nurses affected are being given continuance pay, retention of benefits, and employee assistance services to find new employment.

Acute rehab units all over the country are being affected by government legislation that requires a unit to see a certain volume of patients to qualify for reimbursement from insurance companies. Valley View has continued to support this program over the past five years despite government regulation which made it more difficult.

“Valley View is probably the largest employer in the area for nurses and we deeply value these professionals,” Biggs said. “It is our hope that nurses from Acute Rehabilitation will move to other patient care areas within the hospital.”

Closing of this unit has no relation or effect on the hospital’s new Acute Care Unit that will open later in the month.

Contact John Gardner: 384-9114

jgardner@postindependent.com


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