Aurora Healthcare, the state’s largest private employer with 25,000 employees is attempting to build a new hospital in the Town of Summit. The Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital is minutes away from Aurora’s proposed site. Over 1,000 people attended a public hearing on the required land use changes before the Town’s Plan Commission. The proposed hospital would be built on 53 acres at the southwest corner of Interstate 94 and Hwy 67 in Waukesha County.
I remember someone saying (I wish I could recall the name) that when Madison approves new developments it’s “planned growth” while when nearby towns approve them it’s “urban sprawl”.
Meanwhile, Detroit automakers are fighting the proposed construction of two new hospitals in suburban Detroit, according to an article by Lee Hawkins, Jr.:
The auto makers worry that the hospitals would add unneeded costs and lead to overcapacity in Detroit’s Oakland County suburbs. Many hospitals see increasing their presence in fast-growing, upper-income suburban areas as a way to subsidize care to uninsured and indigent patients’ in urban and rural areas.
The concept of the Big Three urging hospitals to resist overcapacity is ironic, since U.S. auto makers for years have been unable to conquer chronic overcapacity in their own industry.
The auto makers complain that in their business, overcapacity drives prices down. But they argue that in the hospital business, overcapacity drives medical costs up, because it encourages doctors to put more patients — particularly those with rich health plans who pay little out of pocket — into empty hospital beds.
Lots of interesting points in these articles. Clearly, today’s medical technology provides an increasing amount of out-patient services. As an employer facing annual double digit health care cost increases, I do believe that the costs of these new facilities will indeed be paid.
Interesting counterpoint here.