KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

New Jersey Hospital Offers Luxury With Health, Wellness

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports on Virtua Health system's newly opened Health and Wellness Center in New Jersey, and calls it "the new face of luxury." The center was a $31 million investment by the non-profit group and it is expected to do well. "While many New Jersey hospitals grapple with barely-there operating margins and a national slowdown in construction, Virtua is growing. … The 225,000-square-foot Washington Township facility, which opened in January, includes a same-day surgery center co-owned by the doctors, an express-care center, and a fitness center with indoor track, trainers, and heated pools. The assortment of services is targeted to the region's baby boomers - and the well-insured, health analysts say - whose patronage has enhanced Virtua's bottom line."

The hospital system has drawn criticism from some. "You would not find Virtua building such centers in Camden, said Alan Zuckerman, president of Health Strategies & Solutions in Philadelphia. … A hospital system's finances hinge largely on its locations, and Virtua is smart to establish itself in 'well-heeled' areas, he said" (Conaboy, 3/3).

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