by James C. Sherlock
Not too long ago, before the decline of the malls and COVID, the healthcare community coined what they called the Nordstrom Rule.
The meaning was that if you wished to optimize profits in your healthcare business, build it close to a Nordstrom. The theory was that Nordstrom had already done the market research to identify concentrations of wealthy customers.
I wrote yesterday about the Sisters of Charity and Bon Secours, Catholic charities both. The Sisters were not in it to serve wealthy patients. They purposely located their hospitals among the poor. So 19th and 20th century of them.
Sentara, a more sophisticated public charity, avoids locations close to the poor.
In 1991, Sentara purchased the Humana Bayside Hospital in Virginia Beach, renaming it Sentara Bayside Hospital. That cleansed Virginia Beach of a competitor. But Bayside served Virginia Beach’s largest concentration of economically disadvantaged minorities. So Sentara closed it at the first opportunity.
The Virginia Department of Health brokered the closing of Bayside in 2008 under the cover of the Certificate of Public Need (COPN) process that fatally wounded DePaul, allowing Sentara to relocate the Bayside beds to the new Sentara Princess Anne, far from the minority citizens of Bayside.
The closest hospital for many residents served by Bayside was then, you guessed it, DePaul. No longer. Continue reading