"Heart disease a growth business"

So announced a Boston newspaper recently, featuring a story about new heart program at a local hospital.

They were announcing how a hospital had entered the cardiovasculare procedure game and how it would boost their bottom line. The article discussed how the hospital administration was anticipating "a surge in patients from the baby boom generation."

To justify this new program, the article quoted an administrator from another hospital: "Cardiovascular issues is [sic] the number one cause people sought treatment at our hospital."

The hospital featured in the story had spent $13.5 million dollars to develop their program.

Do you think they'll make it back?

You bet they will--many times over. Hospitals are businesses, complete with a bottom line, an expectation of profit and an eye towards growth.

The hospitals in the city where I live (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) are, as in Boston and elsewhere, very aggressive--expanding into new territories, hiring new "salesmen" (physicians), all to capture more marketshare and produce more "product" (your coronary angioplasty, stent, bypass surgery, defibrillator, etc.).

The equation for hospital profits is tried and true. Ignore your heart disese risk and you can help your local hospital grow its business. Neglect to get your heart scan and you can help your hospital pay down its debt. Get a heart scan, then do nothing about it, and you may even justify a pay raise for the hospital administrators for record revenue growth and profit.

Hospitals are a growth business because of the failure of most people and their doctors to 1) identify hidden coronary disease (CT heart scan to obtain your heart scan score), then 2) seize control over it (the Track Your Plaque program or, at least, your doctor's guidance along with your efforts at prevention).

Unless you do so, you are highly likely to help your hospital boost its annual goal for procedures.