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Supports The Wellness Center

To The Editor:

Is maintaining the status quo of Lot 4 more important than maintaining the health of our Medical Center (EPMC)? My vote goes to the Medical Center. Let me first disclose that I’m on the Board of Directors at the Medical Center as well as on the Finance Committee; however, I am writing this as a private citizen.

The EPMC/Anschutz Wellness Center was an opportunity that landed in the lap of the Medical Center at a time it was searching for new revenue sources. Ironically, the Wellness Center fits perfectly with EPMC’s mission and vision. You would be hard pressed to find any doctor worth their salt who doesn’t agree with all the research suggesting medical care needs to shift its focus to include wellness, along with treating illness and disease…it’s what doctors, our doctors, want for all their patients! Wellness can help minimize illness and disease, provides for faster recovery and healing, and can certainly provide for a better quality of life.

EPMC is like many other businesses in our community in that it generally makes much more money four months over the summer, and lives off that “profit” the other eight months. Throw in a fire one year, a flood in another, a poor economy in another with fewer guests visiting Estes and RMNP, less property tax income, and you have a serious revenue issue for EPMC.

On top of that, when most businesses charge, let’s say, $100 for a product or service, they get $100. When EPMC charges $100 for a service, it rarely gets that. Insurance companies may pay in the $90 range, Medicare pays approximately $50, and Medicaid pays around $25. In years to come, those reimbursements will only get worse. And yet, we all want those same services the Medical Center provides to continue, even as their revenue continues to drop.

EPMC has an opportunity to be on the cutting edge with the Wellness Center…it benefits us all (EPMC plans to contribute approximately $75,000/year in services to our future community wellness center). It has an opportunity for a new service line and revenue source. According to the EPMC Wellness Center business plan developed in 2013, the Medical Center conservatively estimates it will make approximately $1.5 million each year. This revenue will help maintain what’s most important to many of us, the services we all have come to expect, and even take for granted.

I, for one, would gladly trade around four developed acres of Lot 4 (the other 2+ acres will be open space), for a cutting edge wellness program that benefits us all, and one that will help maintain the viability of our Medical Center as we know it.

Diana Van Der Ploeg

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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