Thursday, April 17, 2014

A FUN TRIP TO THE CLINIC, or an added place to spend?

Sara Marberry recently passed along this story to her readers.

At a recent conference on patient experience, some big news was the Mayo Clinic plan for "a destination medical center."  Mayo has persuaded Rochester, MN to start building a community for clinic patients and visitors.  To be more specific, visitors and patients will, at least theoretically, have more choices of hotels in Rochester, go shopping between treatments, catch some entertainment or get some recreation, visit family members in their hotel rooms, eat a meal in a choice of restaurants, and so on.  

When I first read this, I was excited.  I couldn't wait to comment.  But doubt has smacked me right between the eyes.    Would be great to get out of the hospital building and get a great lunch, if you can get it down into the stomach, and if you can stand the aromas in the restaurant.  But who will be able to afford these perks??  

Will the movies and recreation facilities in Rochester be free? Is there something I'm missing here?  Who are the people who go to Rochester?  Has the clinic done a study on the patients' abilities to pay for these things?

Art about cancer, even art made from radiation masks, is being made and sold to pay for cancer treatments.  

The quote from Mayo Clinic's Lisa Clarke included:  "'... the patient experience is much broader than the walls of the clinic.  It starts in the cab ride from the airport . . . '"  That's a cab ride the patient pays for.  And it may be a fare for a family member plus her own.    

Patients who work are borrowing from their 401K plans if they even have them, to pay for rent and insurance during periods they are too sick to work.  They are using vacation time for hours they have to wait for treatment.  Just traveling to Rochester sounds like it can break the bank for these people.  A nicer hotel, and some shopping won't help.

(Thanks to 

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