"The Henry Ford health system in Michigan caused a stir after it hired a hotel industry executive, Gerard van Grinsven of the Ritz-Carlton Group, in 2006 to run its new hospital, Henry Ford West Bloomfield.
There are some medical arguments for the trend — private rooms, for example, could lower infection rates and allow patients more rest as they heal. But the main reason for the largess is marketing."
“ While no one is getting nostalgic for traditional hospital food, open wards or revealing gowns, some worry that hospitals are going too far with the creature comforts. They are particularly concerned since most hospitals are nonprofit, so construction — directly or indirectly — is subsidized with public money.”
“With the prospect on the horizon of the Affordable Care Act’s lowering reimbursement, and interest rates rising, the hospital construction boom appears to be slowing. And, in choosing a hospital, patients should probably think beyond room service anyway. Many years ago, when I was a doctor-in-training, I was assigned to work on a hospital floor with V.I.P. rooms. Though the views were spectacular, the cardiac arrest team could not get there as quickly as it could to the regular wards. We called it “a hotel near a major teaching hospital.”
* to read the full NYTs article Is This a Hospital or a Hotel? By Elisabeth Rosenthal highlight and click on open hyperlink http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/22/sunday-review/is-this-a-hospital-or-a-hotel.html