VIP rooms with concierge services, are these going to stay, grow or go away? With the universal healthcare debate in full swing one has to wonder if VIP rooms are dead.
Or, could they possibly grow into a new business model of a cafeteria style private pay method? Those that have become accustomed to the finer things in life would have to deal with the effects of competition being removed from healthcare. Let's face it: there would not be private rooms and wonderful birthing suites if there was not a competitive advantage to having these. When I first started in healthcare design, labor and delivery rooms were the hottest thing to hit healthcare. Post partum rooms were a mix between semis and privates. Now privates in all unit types are the norm. This was all driven by the consumer having the ability to choose which hospital they were going to have their baby in as opposed to years past when there was no option. VIP services crept into the maternity market first with meals, guest beds and massages. Later other VIP services turned up in other patient units such as cardiac and orthopedics. While we can only wonder what Universal Healthcare will do to the nature of healthcare being consumer driven, it seems there is weight to both sides of the argument as to whether VIP services will grow or go away. Growth Argument: Universal Healthcare will lower niceties in an effort to reduce costs and cover those who do not currently pay/share for services. This will lead to paying on a credit card for extras such as a private room, better food choices, and cable television. Similar to the airline industry that has kept the cost of the flights down but deleted all service items such as blankets, pillows, food and sometimes drinks and now charge for baggage to be brought on. Go Away Argument: Universal Healthcare in an effort to reduce costs and provide equal services to all people, will cut any items that would be considered VIP even if paid for out of pocket by the patient. These extras will be considered discriminatory for all of those patients who cannot afford these items and therefore they will be illegal. Think of the shared room seen in "Bucket List" where the owner of the hospital gets treated to his own policies. Whatever the case there will always be some sort of VIP or concierge services. What remains to be seen is if these will be a new business model or become "under the radar services"— for those who know the right folks in the right places.