Letter: Health-costs series | PostIndependent.com

Letter: Health-costs series

“High Country, High Costs,” the six-part series by William Scanlon, which recently ran in the PI and Aspen Times, is compelling reading.

The first five parts shine light in the many dark corners of our multi-faceted health-care conundrum. They reveal a clear view of what’s going on and set the stage for a surprising summary in part six, “Some find partial solutions to the high costs of health care.”

“Better health and lower costs in the RFV, well done VHA” might have been a better title. Have you ever read “better health, lower total HC cost and flat and lower HC insurance premiums” anywhere? If the Valley Health Alliance made that happen, then praise and credit for those results are well earned.

I believe in the old practice of giving credit where credit is due, so here goes: 10 percent to those organizations and role players identified in the series who are compensated for their health-care responsibilities; 50 percent to Kathleen Killion, VHA’s executive director, who used her intellect, insights, skills and knowledge to be the driving force that created important strategic relationships, and coaxed all the critical moving parts of this devilish puzzle into place, producing amazing local outcomes; 30 percent (some paid forward) to those who have helped produce positive early VHA outcomes and who will now help others benefit from healthier living (using HC savings on things that make the RFV such a wonderful place to live) by spreading the word about the better local health-care practices (proven by the VHA); and 10 percent to William Scanlon, for his take on our local situation that may help guide our personal HC actions in the future.

Knowing the “developmental phase” of the VHA’s lifecycle was a success, it’s time to start sharing the resulting benefits. Maybe consider expanding VHA’s membership in the RFV, helping others replicate the concept in other similar communities, having Aspen Skiing Co. use its VHA experience to improve the microeconomies in those places where future resort assets are acquired.

Gary Gardner

El Jebel