Friday, April 22, 2016

The latest in hospital construction

Today Teresa and I went to Montvale, New Jersey for my latest CT scan. We’re hoping for good results, naturally, but meanwhile I have to post Teresa’s photograph of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering facility in Montvale:

It’s a trailer!

But it was fine – carefully set up inside and professionally staffed. And it will soon be replaced with something much more conventional, as MSK takes over a large building on the same site, now evidently being fitted out to be a large medical complex.

Aside from giving us the treat of getting a high-powered medical test in a trailer, what this facility reflects is that MSK is moving into New Jersey in a big way. They already have a building quite a ways from New York, in Basking Ridge. Now they’re opening this Montvale office (in north Jersey), and another in Middletown (in central Jersey). These facilities will certainly make life easier for New Jersey patients, including us.

I assume, however, that the reason for these new branch offices isn’t just our convenience, but also MSK’s business plan. MSK must want to ensure or expand its position in the New Jersey cancer treatment market. And that’s part of a health care reality: as the advertisement for another cancer facility that I saw at the Montclair train station reflects, in today’s world cancer treatment institutions, even nonprofits, are competing with each other for patients. This competition is like the competition among colleges for students, and one of its features is the effort to make the customers, here cancer patients, comfortable.

I’m not sure what to think about the overall functioning of this segment of the health care market – but I do appreciate having a nearby office for my CT scan. Even if it’s in a trailer.

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