Posts Tagged ‘patients’

Just Out of the Hospital? Check in at the Fairmont

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

You’ve just had grueling knee-replacement surgery and feel like a little pampering to make you feel better?  Reserve a room at Chicago’s Fairmont Hotel fairmont_600_x_558 for a plush post-operative stay until you’re ready to head home.

The Fairmont is just one American hotel cashing in on luxury medical tourism, which constitutes a $16 billion industry.  The Fairmont’s owner, Strategic Hotels & Resorts, did some research and found that most American patients, if given the option, prefer to stay in the country because of the cost of overseas travel and for the access to home-grown technology and medical expertise.

The Fairmont is teaming with Dr. Mitch Sheinkop, head of the joint replacement program at the Neurological & Orthopedic Hospital of Chicago, who arranges post-operative hotel stays for interested patients .  According to Mike Phares, the Fairmont’s marketing director, “We make it easy for rehab technicians to come and go from the hotel to work with patients.”

Pricey, but a little pampering after a hospital stay has strong appeal to the affluent patient.  So far, the Fairmont is limiting medical recovery stays to orthopedic cases, but plans to target plastic and cosmetic surgical patients next.

Walgreen’s Reaches Out to Help the Unemployed

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

The nation’s largest drugstore chain is helping the unemployed and uninsured take good care of their health at a time when they need it the most.  walgreens23Walgreen’s, which operates 6,679 drugstores in 49 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, is offering free clinic visits to the unemployed and uninsured through 2009.

Although patients still have to pay for prescriptions, people who lose their jobs and health insurance after March 31 will be able to get free treatment at Walgreen stores with Take Care clinics for conditions such as respiratory problems, allergies, infections and skin conditions, among other ailments.  These treatments typically cost $59 or more for people with no insurance.

According to Hal Rosenbluth, chairman of the Take Care Health Systems division, the plan is an experiment; he isn’t certain how patients will respond to the program or what it will cost the company.  What’s certain is that the move is likely to generate positive attention for the clinics.  The typical Take Care patient tells eight other people about the experience, so the move could bring in significant new paying customers.  Walgreen’s operates 341 Take Care clinics in 35 markets around the country, including Chicago, Atlanta, Miami and Cleveland.

walgreens1To receive free treatment, patients must present proof that they have lost their jobs, including a federal or state unemployment determination letter and an unemployment check stub.  They will be required to sign a form stating that they have lost their jobs and health benefits.