Health care reform: Can Mayo emerge a winner?

  • Article by: CHEN MAY YEE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 29, 2010 - 12:02 AM

Congress thinks the Mayo Clinic is a model for health care reform. Critics say there are other factors at work.

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d44332211Jan. 28, 1010:25 PM

It's easy for mayo to say: "This is how it's done, be like me." Not every hospital can attract (rich) people from around the midwest on name-recognition alone. I wonder if Mayo has enough perspective on healthcare at the "rest" of the hospitals in the country that don't do presidential checkups. Perhaps they ought to just stay out of politics.

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minturnmileJan. 28, 1010:30 PM

How did Minnesota get stuck with such a terrible asset.

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grude420Jan. 28, 1010:31 PM

For Mayo's prices to reflect their standing with the government. If they're so good and so efficient, then why does it cost an arm and a leg to be seen there? And why are all the employees getting laid off if things are so good at Mayo?

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mnaussJan. 28, 1011:10 PM

Don't go there...go where it's cheaper!

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SammyBoyJan. 28, 1011:58 PM

Did any of the first four commentors actually read the article? Or did they see "Mayo," click the article thinking it was about sandwich-making, and then were so bummed out they blasted out what they thought to be witty one-liners about the perceived ills at the Mayo Clinic without reading a single word beyond the first paragraph? I mean, you realize there is much more the the Mayo Clinic than just the hospital, right? Like how they are most of southeastern Minnesota's network of clinics for primary care, since the Twin City's chains don't see any money to be made where the people are poorer and more likely to need low margin preventative care instead of high margin urgent care? Given the level of discourse surround this whole discussion, both locally and nationally, you'd think people might actually want to be more than mouthpieces for the very interest groups they seem to hate.

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cinemajayJan. 29, 10 1:38 AM

"It has even raised the question: Is Mayo as good as it claims?" Yes, I believe so. I've been a patient there, as well as 4 members of my family. We were each seen for different problems and all of us received care FAR above that at the clinic in my hometown, and later in St. Paul where I now live. It's more than just getting 'good service'--the physicans and medical staff at Mayo are better prepared, more understanding, and among the best trained individuals I've encountered in any profession (let alone in their field). I work in the healthcare industry (not at Mayo, but I do know many of their physicians) and I frequently tell people to not even bother going other places. Most people will get the run around and end up going to their clinic and get charged MORE for tests, or unnecessary tests and procedures when you could have it done once and done right by some of the best in medicine. The organization is set up to provide the best care--not to maximize profits. If you want to help someone's bottom line, there are plenty of places willing to charge you an arm and a leg for sub-par care and multiple visits you don't need. Health insurance is broken--we all know that. Mayo is committed to trying to fix it and I believe they have the best chance of making it happen.

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DacotaJan. 29, 10 6:57 AM

YOU go where it's cheaper and take a chance on getting crappy care. I go to Mayo (even though I don't live in Rochester) and am healthy as can be.

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hfnorthJan. 29, 10 7:00 AM

It's no wonder that there are problems in our society of the magnitude that exists now, when people so uninformed make decisions in the voting booth.

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davehougJan. 29, 10 7:34 AM

Anyone can tell who has the cheapest procedure. It takes real solid medical knowledge to know what is and is NOT needed. Kudos to Mayo for striving to keep folks OUT of the hospital. Take your auto to a guy who is guessing and throwing parts at the problem or a great mechanic, and then tell me which approach is better?

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kieselJan. 29, 10 7:35 AM

There is much good to be said about the Mayo, but the quality of their in-patient care for surgical-specialty patients has definitely declined over the past few years. Very often the "consultant" who reportedly performed your procedure is nowhere to be seen post-op or, if there, lingers at the doorway of your room while his underlings evaluate and administer. Post-op visits to the clinic are often provided by nurses or nurse practitioners/PA's. Sure, they are all well-trained, the care overall is fine, and some providers are in their learning stages (residents), but what's wrong with the surgeon himself/herself in NOT making it a point to see you or to return your calls with what you think are desperate questions? I don't think that's either quality OR value! As for clinics throughout southern MN and surrounding states that are run by the Mayo, be advised that in addition to providing care they are also "feeding" their clinic system with new patients. That's just good business. One question not answered is the Mayo's recent policy of stopping to take Medicare patients at one of their AZ out-patient facilities which they have said might have implications for their system overall. What are the implications of this decision as the Health Care argument goes on? Bottom line -- I would put up with these "indignities" and still use the Mayo in the absence of a Johns Hopkins or Cleveland Clinic in my backyard.

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