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Chefs, Butlers, Marble Baths: Hospitals Vie for the Affluent

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The feverish accommodating had spent hours in a awash emergency room. Back she opened her eyes in her Manhattan hospital allowance aftermost winter, she recalled later, she wondered if she could be hallucinating: “This is like the Four Seasons — area am I?”

The bed linens were by Frette, Italian purveyors of high-thread-count bedding to popes and princes. The bath gleamed with able marble. Huge windows displayed across-the-board East River views. And in the calm of her $2,400 suite, a man in a atramentous belong and tie proffered an busy card and told her, “I’ll be your butler.”
Foto : Marilynn K. Yee/The New York Times

It was Greenberg 14 South, the aristocratic addition on the fresh accommodation attic of NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell hospital. Pampering and décor to battling a admirable hotel, if not a Downton Abbey, accept continued been the authentication of such “amenities units,” generally hidden abaft bankrupt doors at Fresh York’s arch hospitals. But the abnormality is ascent actuality and about the country, bloom affliction architecture specialists say, allotment of an all-embracing antagonism for affluent patients accommodating to pay extra, alike as the federal government cuts aback hospital agreement in following of a added accepted and affordable American medical system.

“It’s not aloof aggressive on medical area and specialties, but aggressive for barter who can go aloof about anywhere,” said Helen K. Cohen, a specialist in bloom accessories at the all-embracing architectural close HOK, which afresh advised affluence hospital floors in Singapore and London and adapted NewYork-Presbyterian’s aristocratic offerings in the McKeen Pavilion in Washington Heights. “These kinds of patients, they’re advantageous banknote — they’re the best affectionate of accommodating to have,” she added. “Theoretically, it trickles down.”

A waterfall, a admirable piano and the angel of a behemothic acclaim adroitness the aerial ninth attic atrium of McKeen, arch to refurbished apartment that, like those in the hospital’s East 68th Street penthouse, amount patients $1,000 to $1,500 a day, and can be combined. That fee is on top of whatever abject amount allowance pays to the hospital, or the almost $4,500 a day that foreigners are charged, according to the hospital’s all-embracing casework department.

But in the age of Occupy Wall Street, accouterment to the affluent can be trickier than ever, acclaimed Avani Parikh, who formed for NewYork-Presbyterian as centralized activity baton back the 14th attic was undertaken. She acicular to the contempo altercation at Lenox Hill Hospital, area parents with newborns in the intensive-care assemblage complained that aegis guards had belted their movements and blood over hospital aegis cameras in their alacrity to amuse Jay-Z (real name Shawn Carter) and Beyoncé Knowles, whose babe was built-in on Jan. 7 in a fresh “executive suite.”

Many American hospitals action a V.I.P. amenities attic with a committed chef and abundant services, from Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, which promises “the ultimate in pampering” in its $3,784 maternology suites. The acceleration of medical tourism to bright hospitals in places like Singapore and Thailand has angry allowance and breeding into business necessities, designers say.

The spotlight on affluence apartment comes at an awkward time for abounding burghal hospitals, now lobbying adjoin cuts in Washington and highlighting their role as nonprofit teaching institutions that serve the poor. Indeed, NewYork-Presbyterian, which already against amenities units, would not acknowledgment questions about its shift, and beneath a reporter’s appeal for a tour.

In Greenberg, area the visitors’ lounge seems to adhere over the East River in a bottle bill and Ciao Bella gelato is accessible on demand, the accommodating who likened her apartment to the Four Seasons was not advantageous for it. She did not appetite to be articular because her affluent boss, who best up the bill, would not appetite publicity.

During a reporter’s actionable visits to both units this month, however, some bodies adequate the allowances bidding anxiety about those priced out. In space-starved Fresh York, abounding approved hospital apartment are still double-occupancy, admitting singles are now the civic accepted for infection ascendancy and quicker recovery.
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