Last week a good friend had bilateral knee replacements and chose to ‘buy up’ for her recovery by selecting the hospital’s “Concierge Unit.” Many hospitals now offer such a unit, requiring patients to pay out of pocket per night in addition to their expected insurance payment. In my friend’s case, it was $40o each night.
Upon admission on Wednesday, she reported to her nurse that her skin was very itchy and she had a notable rash on her back and legs. The nurse got Benadryl ordered IV and by mouth, but also said she’d check on getting an ointment as well. On Friday when I picked her up to transport her to the acute rehabilitation facility for continuing physical therapy, she shared with me that she still had not gotten the ointment creme.
I laughed out loud, not at her discomfort, but at the irony of paying an additional $1200 for care that sounds like it was just as good as the “regular floor.” So much for the concierge level of service! You might get a daily newspaper, but if you can’t even get a tube of anti-itch creme, what’s the benefit?