Shift To Health From Other Sectors May Breathe Life Into Firm, City
A Minneapolis Star Tribune business columnist details a crucial choice one engineering firm made for its future: Defense or health care? Health care, was Mid-Continent Engineering's answer. The firm has evolved from building parts for ship-board Navy computers to high-precision pivoting MRI machine arms as part of its strategy to swing from losses to profits, fend off the recession and ensure a lucrative future. Medical parts require higher precision and are more profitable, according to the firms CEO Sanders Marvin. Marvin "also began shifting the company's focus from the defense and aerospace markets, with their longer product-development cycles and sometimes iffy funding. With his eye on the demographics showing an aging nation, Marvin began courting the health care industry and its more-rapid product development turnarounds" (Youngblood, 8/26).
Meanwhile, according to a study by the Center for Studying Health System Change, Detroit may be on its way to undergoing a similar transition, The New York Times reports. The study was ominously titled, "Detroit: Motor City to Medical Mecca?" The Times writes, "while health care may well be part of Detroit's problem (think retiree health costs for automakers), some people are hopeful that it could turn out to be a solution as well. The area's hospital systems say they plan to spend more than $1 billion on capital improvements over the next few years. While the area has seen the usual flurry of activity in the suburbs, where the hospitals want to expand to try to attract as many high-paying and well-insured patients as they can, the researchers also point to a sizable amount of investment planned for Detroit proper" (Abelson, 8/26).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.