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Mike Martin, Published June 20 2010

Bigger hospital not always better

Sanford Health-MeritCare must be reading old mail. A planned $350 million hospital on a 109-acre Fargo site (Forum, June 6) is so yesterday: Acres of brick and mortar are not the future of heath care. In fact, over the coming decades (as the past several have trended), hospital stays and institution visits will be avoided due to cost, infections and better technology.

In addition, if Sanford Health-MeritCare really wants to become a dominant medical force in a large trade area, a facility this size, at one site, will prevent them from being nimble and responsive.

You can bet the fringes of their trade area (Grand Forks, Bismarck, Duluth, the Twin Cities, etc.) all see themselves as the future and plans are already under way to compete and provide.

I speak for myself, but if I need a map to find my way around a 109-acre site, I’ll drive far to deal with people who haven’t forgotten the human touch. Bigger isn’t better; I’ll bet my health that bigger will be worse.

Sadly, our health care dollars will get to pay for a massive management ego trip.