The lesson for Los Angeles residents from a recent Rochester Post Bulletin story, carried by AP, might be, “Don't hold the Mayo Clinic.” When President Obama touted the nonprofit clinics as a health-care provider he'd like to imitate nationwide as part of his health-care reform plans, the Post Bulletin did some comparative pricing. It turns out that, indeed, Mayo is a bargain for those facing big bills.

“A 2006 Dartmouth report,” the paper wrote, “says it cost Medicare patients at Saint Marys Hospital $34,372 during the final two years of life, whereas it cost their counterparts at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles more than double — $71,637.”

The story attributed Mayo's success to its embrace of a medical-team approach to health care treatment — which the Post Bulletin

illustrated with the case history of Colorado symphony conducter Jacob

Chi, who needed heart surgery and found that the Mayo team that worked

on him at the Rochester, Minnesota St. Marys Hospital was very much like a

successful orchestra. Note to Angelenos: If you're rethinking your next

hospital stay in town, be advised that the nearest Mayo Clinics are in Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona.

The Mayo Clinic's Policy Blog recently sent an open letter

to Congress, stating, “We urge you to insist that reform legislation

includes a method that pays for value and quality, rather than the

quantity of medical procedures.”

LA Weekly