Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Does Valley Health's Wellness & Fitness Center have to carry a bond and/or be registered with VDAC?

THE PIBBSTER's PUB was notified by an unnamed source last Friday that Valley Health's Wellness & Fitness Center does not have bond on file nor is it registered with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

The unnamed source stated that Sandy Harrington, an Investigator for VDACS with the Office of Consumer Affairs confirmed that Valley Health is not carrying a bond nor is registered with VDACS.

"These rates indicate they are accepting payment in advance for the contracts, so they would need to have a bond on file with our office." said Harrington

    Single member:
    $648 annual + $85 initial fee
    $54 per month + $85 initial fee

     Family couple:
    $1,008 + 145 initial fee
    $84 per month + 145 initial fee

The bond ensures members that if something were to happen to the business, there is a bond held to reimburse those customers who have paid in full and services were not rendered.

"There is an exemption under the Virginia Health Spa Act that states "the term "health spa" shall not include the following: (i) bona fide nonprofit organizations, including, but not limited to, the YMCA, YWCA, or similar organizations whose functions as health spas are only incidental to their overall functions and purposes..."

"If the fitness club is included as part of the nonprofit hospital then they most likely would be exempt under the Act.  If they have been set up as a separate entity under their own corporate structure, then they would most likely be required to register and file surety.  As I said, once I get the information regarding the corporate structure, I will be able to determine how the Act applies to them." said Harrington


For further details, please contact:
Sandy Harrington, Investigator
VA Dept of Agriculture & Consumer Svcs
Office of Consumer Affairs
Oliver W. Hill Building
102 Governor Street, Rm LL50
Richmond, VA 23219
Phone: 804-225-4601
Fax: 804-225-2666

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