Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Bow Down Before Your Robot Master

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The robot-headed creature rising at Memorial City may not be entirely benign. The Houston Chronicle is reporting today that the Texas State Attorney General is investigating Memorial Hermann for anti-trust. Specifically, they are accused of using of using their market power to coerce insurance companies from doing business with Town & Country Hospital, which went out of business in January 2007.

Town & Country Hospital was a start-up. According to Houston Business Journal
the $50 million hospital and $20 million medical office building were developed by a group of doctors who wanted more control of the health care services they provide.
Houston Town & Country Hospital was located north of I-10 along the Beltway just south of Westview. At this location, it was sure to be competition for Memorial Hermann Memorial City Hospital (where the new robot head headquarters of Memorial Hermann is going up now). But Town & Country was never able to get enough business, so they went under. The facility was purchased by Memorial Hermann in 2007.

Then in June of last year, the 109 doctors who owned Town & Country filed suit against Memorial Hermann for the reasons stated above, as reported by Isiah Carey. Memorial Hermann countered that Town & Country was underfinanced and poorly managed. I don't really have an opinion about who is right, but given how close the new headquarters is to the former Town & Country Hospital, it's hard not to see the tower as a triumphant Transformer gazing down at the corpse of a fallen foe.

(Hat-tip to the Bald Heretic for uncovering the true robotic nature of the Memorial Hermann skyscraper.)



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