Physicians Juggling Patient Loads as the Medicare Pool Expands

May 27, 2013


David Ressler is the outgoing CEO at Aspen Valley Hospital. He says most doctors in Aspen take Medicare patients, but in the future, that may not be the case.
Credit Aspen Valley Hospital

 A recent Aspen City Council meeting shed light on a national problem regarding health care for seniors. Earlier this month, over a discussion on the expansion to Aspen Valley Hospital, Mayor Mick Ireland raised the issue of Medicare. He wondered if private physicians renting space in the newly renovated Hospital would be required to care for Medicare patients.


"I think we should have some assurance that the space that we’re voting to approve and helping pay for, that in that space there’s some preference for physicians who are willing to accept medicare," Ireland said.


Dave Ressler, outgoing CEO of Aspen Valley Hospital responded.


"I share your concern and we share your commitment to making sure that all members of our community have access to care, whether it’s Medicare, Medicaid or private insurers," he said.


He told Ireland that dictating which patients office space tenants can accept is something the Hospital can’t legally do. But, he says the problem of physicians being selective about the Medicare patients they serve is a problem across the country. Marci Krivonen sat down with him recently to talk about it.