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Want to Draw Patients to Your Hospital? Make It Look Like a 5-Star Hotel

Hospitals are increasingly competing for patients on the basis of amenities such as private rooms, beautiful lobbies, magnificent views, and hotel-style room service. As a recent commentary in the New England Journal of Medicine points out, the relationship between these amenities and the clinical quality of care is questionable. Yet patients are being drawn to hospitals that offer such pluses, while generally ignoring data about a hospital’s mortality, complication and readmission rates. Thus hospitals have an incentive to spend more on their facilities and less on quality if they want to attract well-insured patients.