Sunday, September 23, 2007

Spas anyone?

One in a continuing series about emails you get when you are CEO of a hospital. Somehow these get through our spam filter. I'm still relatively new to health care, but I marvel to think that a consulting company has a "director of medical spa services." Look, America is a great country, and I love the entrepreneurial spirit demonstrated by these folks, but isn't it a better idea for hospitals just to get really good at what they are supposed to do rather than be distracted by people from the hospitality business to create health spas? If anything, let's use the experience these folks have from that sector to help us improve the quality of service for sick, nervous, and anxious people visiting our hospitals. There is plenty to do to make sure we are delivering our core business in a proper fashion before jumping off for the latest fad.

7 Secrets to Running a Successful Hospital Owned Medical Spa

Is your hospital contemplating a Medical Spa? Is this a million dollar opportunity or a million dollar boondoggle? Attend a free webinar on "Hospital Owned Medical Spas" to be held on Tuesday, October 9th at 12:00 pm EDT and see if a medical spa is right for your healthcare organization.

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Hospitals across the country are considering whether a Medical Spa is right for them. Join us and get the facts on this fast-growing industry. Some of the reasons hospitals are opening Medical Spas at a record pace are:

Physician partnerships
Drives additional business to core hospital services
New high-margin, non-reimbursed revenue stream
Enhanced focus on well-care instead of acute care
Benefit to employees, patients, and families
Brand building throughout your market
Competitive advantage

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Contact me via email or call me directly and I will send you the details on how to join us on this free webinar.

Best regards,
[name omitted]
Director of Medical Spa Services


Ileana said...

I don't know, it hardly surprises me that they offer this to you.

For us consumers having someone offer services or products that are endorsed "healthy" in a facility that made us healthy before seems just fine. Maybe I wouldn't say that now, but it took an year of reading medblogs to get there. We love to be told what to do and what is good and healthy for us.

As for you, as long as insurance companies can hit you at anytime with another P4P or whatever other reimbursement scheme and you won't know how to pay your nurses and doctors, a steady stream of revenue should just make you jump up and down with joy.

Dino William Ramzi said...

My thought is that it's a miracle that it took so long to reach American shores.

The idea of medical spas has deep roots in Europe where consumer demand for "alternative" health modalities is high and a payment stream exists.

MAK said...

I don't know Paul. How is this different from the wellness center and community health classes? Maybe for urban teaching hospitals, where there are many hospitals around and you are training new doctors, this would be a distraction or a dilution, but in a rural or suburban community hospital, it solidifies the role of the hospital as a community centric service, promoting stress relief and good wellcare. As part of a program of education and overall welness, or course. And I'm talking massages, relaxation, and basic footcare (as an example), not nail polish application and hairstyling.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, a great deal of healthcare is about making money. Now I'm all for making money (no margin, no mission and all that), but when you think of healthcare strictly as a business, these are the kind of things that distract you from the core responsibility of providing excellent healthcare services that truely improve health.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Levy,

Just so you know, we have a few patients (specially the ladies) who have been requesting services like this. Spa services is actually a good wholistic approach in caring for our patients. Its a complimentary therapy for pain management and with my previous hospital i worked at (different country) they are offering spa services for expectant mothers who are in their last trimester..

just an fyi...

eeka said...

I was reading through the whole spam thinking "WTF is a medical spa?" but if it's what I think it is and other people seem to think it is, it's very cost-effective.

There's a lot of research in the mind-body fields as to how proactive wellness practices cut down considerably on illness (and thus reactive treatments). Things like being outdoors, certain sensory experiences, meditation, self-expression, and so forth. I frequently design self-care plans for my clients involving simply being nice to themselves. Um, in a measurable and behavioral framework, of course. I bill insurance companies for this every day.

It's well-proven that stress reduction and self-care are helpful for a number of GI and cardiovascular conditions, and certainly for mental health. Oh, another place to check out might be Kripalu. They offer a number of courses in mind-body work that grant CEUs. If building a full spa isn't feasible (especially not one from spammers!), why not try offering more mind-body therapies that many of us already know to be reimbursable? You could expand your psych department to hire counselors instead of just social workers, and bring on folks with a mind-body focus.

Anonymous said...

Hasn't anyone considered the increased risk of infection in hospital-based spas?

The hospital environment is a breading ground for germs. A spa located within the hospital complex where bacterial and viral pathogens thrive, seems antithical to its very intent. Hospitals are for the ill.. sick people who may very well leave the premises with something they hadn't bargained for...nosocomial infection. Each year 90,000 people die after picking up a bacterial infection in a hospital, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Studies show that health care workers carry infectious pathogens out of the hospital environment on hands and clothing and introduce these germs into the community. Patients, visitors and hospital employees exposed to a plethora of infectious bacteria might easily contaminate the spa environment.

Andrea Bradley-Stutz, co-owner of Ology Spa at Clarian West and Clarian North Medical Centers in Indianapolis says "Some of the spa’s most frequent clients right now come from the operating room nursing staff." This obviously poses risk of contamination to the spa directly from the hospital.

Given a choice, I believe reasonably cautions clients would opt for spa services as far away from a hospital as possible.

Disclaimer: The above is merely my personal opinion based on facts regarding the relationship between hospitals as opportune environments for the spread of infection. Quote from the owner of Ology Spa appears in an interview online and is not restricted by copyright.