Thursday, June 18, 2009

Mayo Clinic to Open New Facility,

at the Mall of America

"I'd like a health care sandwich, please, with plenty of Mayo..."

As if the U didn't have enough trouble with its current competition - Allina, etc. - the big kid down the road is establishing a clubhouse right in the U's back yard. Think of the possible package deals. It's a marketer's dream.

"We fly you in to Minneapolis/St. Paul airport where you take the light rail over to the MOA for a day of shopping. While you are there you can get all of your health care needs taken care of at the famous Mayo Clinic MOA."

"And if you should happen to have any condition that needs further work, we can take you down to the Big House in Rochester for serious slicin' and dicin'.
We have nice air conditioned shuttles that will do this. Want to stop on the way for a little gambling? No problemo. We'll swing by Mystic Lake. Horse racing? Can do. Canterbury Downs is on the way."

"You're from Minneapolis or St. Paul? That's fine, too. Just take the light rail from downtown Minneapolis to the MOA. No more trouble for you than going to the hospitals in Minneapolis and St. Paul. We don't even ream you for parking, unlike our competitors. And, you'll have the Mayo cachet. After all, we are the best. No one else in Minnesota is even close. So why not go for the best? You deserve it. We're no more expensive than lesser alternatives. "

Mayo Clinic to lease space at Mall of America

By CHEN MAY YEE, Star Tribune

In another step in the evolution of health-care delivery, Mayo Clinic said Wednesday it has signed a letter of intent to lease space in the second phase of the Mall of America.

Mayo CEO Dr. Glenn Forbes said the prestigious clinic has not decided what services it will offer at the Bloomington shopping mall, but said they might include diagnostic screenings, telemedicine and health and wellness consultations.

It would be the first Twin Cities facility for Rochester-based Mayo.

Mayo officials described the planned facility as a "gateway'' location that would connect patients to its main campus in Rochester.

"It's not our intention to replicate what we're doing in Rochester,'' Forbes said at a news conference attended by Mall officials and Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

Mayo officials said they plan to spend the next 12 months deciding the nature of the facility and the size of their investment.

Mayo has been considering a Twin Cities presence for years, but may have been motivated by rapid changes in retail medical services in the last few years.

The famed institutition has not been spared the effects of the recession in the last 12 months. Last year, Mayo barely broke even as expenses raced ahead of revenue. Gifts from benefectors were down and the clinic, like other organizations, suffered big investment losses.

The main Rochester campus and branches in Jacksonville, Fla. and Scottsdale, Az. treated about 526,000 patients last year, about the same as the year earlier. However, income from patient care was down significantly because more of them were Medicare patients. Medicare pays less than private insurers for the same procedures.
The pie is only going to get smaller and Mayo apparently plans to take some of it from University-Fairview and other already existent hospitals in the Twin Cities. When there is an oversupply of medical buildings and services, then the weak and inefficient will fall by the wayside.

If the race is to the excellent and the efficient, then Mayo should do well. If you have any doubt about this, read Dr. Gawande's excellent June New Yorker piece about health care. There he is extemely complimenary about the way Mayo does things.

If the U was worried recently about competition from St. Thomas, they should really be concerned by this move on the part of Mayo.

But of course the present AHC administration seems to be in no big rush: about ethics reform, about conflict of interest reform, about employing double dippers...

Don't worry, be happy?

Where's my fiddle?

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