health care

Your Evening News - December 2nd, 2014

Dec 2, 2014

Glassier Open Space Comment Deadline Approaches

The deadline is looming to comment on a management plan for a new open space parcel in the mid-valley. The Glassier open space near Emma will be used for recreation and agriculture.

Unlike most Pitkin County-managed open space parcels, the Glassier land will give agricultural producers a chance to grow crops. About half of the 282-acre land is irrigated and at one time, was used for ranching.

Welcome to Valley Roundup, a review of the top news stories in the valley in the past week.

This week brought the first big snow in the valley just ahead of ski season and with the flakes also comes Free Parking in Aspen as the investigation into the parking scam continues.

In Glenwood Springs, the city and county are battling over a new facility to help get those packages there overnight.

Also, it’s health care season, the time when employers alert their staffs to new changes for the new year. But, is there something bigger that needs to change?

And an Aspen conference is looking at tourism and building a more dignified approach marijuana just as the nearby town of Paonia says "No" to recreational pot.

Joining us this week are Curtis Wackerle, Managing Editor of the Aspen Daily News, Randy Essex, Editor of the Glenwood Post Independent and Andy Stone, former editor of and now columnist for the Aspen Times.

Getting your blood checked can mean making an appointment, getting to a doctor’s office, and fees. But for older folks in Pitkin County, regular senior health fairs make it much easier. They’re part of a wider variety of fairs put on by Aspen Valley Hospital, which hosted one on a recent Friday.

Five employers efforts to improve health care and lower insurance costs is shifting into high gear. The group, known as the Valley Health Alliance, has a new Director and was part of a forum yesterday. Details on what the Alliance may try in the next year were discussed-- and mental health will be at the top of the list.

Valley Roundup - September 26th, 2014

Sep 26, 2014

Welcome to Valley Roundup a review of the top news stories in the valley in the past week.

This week  - Vice President Joe Biden and his 44-car entourage storm in an out of Aspen.  Criticism rises in his wake.

The gig is up for the secret to free parking in Aspen.  It has been costing the city more than fifty thousand dollars a month.  The finger pointing has begun.

Also this week, we talk bears.

And, a Denver Business Journal health care reporter helps explain why insurance rates might actually be going down in the roaring Fork Valley.

Colorado Medical Society

Health insurance in the Roaring Fork Valley will be cheaper next year for some residents. The average premium will cost about seven percent less. For someone paying three hundred dollars a month, that’s about twenty dollars less for each payment. One reason for that is some doctors and hospitals are treating patients for less. And the state’s top association for physicians is worried that may have unintended consequences.

Colorado Division of Insurance

Health insurance in the Glenwood Springs area will go down by nearly ten percent next year. That’s on average, and it’s compared to an overall average increase of about one percent across Colorado. State officials gave final approval for the lower rates this week. This comes after concerns about especially high insurance in the Roaring Fork Valley, and an earlier flawed attempt to let consumers review rates beforehand. 

Spotlight: Health Closing Session – A Conversation with the Honorable Kathleen Sebelius

Kathleen Sebelius was the 21st United States Secretary of Health and Human Services. She served from 2009-2014.  Sebelius resigned her post as President Obama’s head of HHS in April 2014. She was the key person involved in implementing health care reforms under the “Affordable Care Act” aka “Obamacare”. Sebelius had previously served as Governor of Kansas (2003-2009).

Kathleen Sebelius, Walter Isaacson

How Can We Die With Dignity?

The hospice movement and other cultural and system-wide innovations in palliative care have been welcome strategies for easing the dying experience, but many people still do not have their final wishes respected. If we are to guide patients and families through life’s final stage with dignity, we need to have wiser conversations, better services, and a clearer ethical framework. What is it like to be present with people as they approach death? What roles can the young and the healthy play? What investments do we need to make to smooth the passage away from the living?

Arthur Leonard Caplan, Ai-jen Poo, Akaya Windwood, Ray Suarez

Can Congress Come Together to Build a Healthier Nation?

There's much more to health politics than the Affordable Care Act. Along with remarkable new advances in medicine by 2024, we will see Baby Boomers swamping the health care system, more veterans needing services, and the impact of climate change becoming ever more apparent. Leaders from both political parties in both houses of Congress should be shaping the vision, negotiating the legislation and committing the funding to improve the nation’s health. What can Congress do to promote better health for more Americans? How can our elected officials reach consensus?

William Frist, Thomas Daschle, Julie Rovner, Mickey Edwards

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