Star to for-profit infusion providers: You’re welcome!

  • OK, it’s not quite like this.

The Star‘s Sarah Gish is what’s known as an “enterprise reporter.” Which apparently means that she sometimes writes about, you know, enterprises – stuff designed to make money.

For example: Infusion Express, the surprisingly not-liquor-related business at the center of Gish’s trend piece today, which is about the latest in lightly overseen treatment options for sick 99-percenters. The headline alone – “More like spas than clinics, infusion centers offer a new twist on IVs” – promises that having a drip administered closer to a DSW than to an ER is practically a Carnival cruise. Just look at the “massaging” chairs in that photo. Posh! Not depressing or creepy at all!

A few days into the Affordable Care Act’s health-insurance marketplace is obviously the perfect moment to pimp for-profit ventures in quasi treatment. But maybe someone at the daily could enterprise a couple of follow-up questions.

Because one thing missing from Gish’s valentine is a quote from any medical professional not affiliated with the business. A quote about safety or medical orthodoxy from, say, an impartial doctor. Also: Who regulates infusion? (I’d look it up myself, but I’m busy adding a codicil to my living will to make sure nobody infuses me ever.)

Or a few words about why people with Lyme disease get shunted into strip malls for care. (Because the symptoms aren’t easy to diagnose conclusively, for one thing; even if you have insurance, the co-pays can add up faster than the answers.) Or something about just why doctors and researchers argue so much about the affliction.

Or why that Lyme treatment, in Gish’s story, isn’t really a prescription but a Myers’ cocktail – just what Rihanna would want if she stopped by Lee’s Summit.

Or something about chelation, another magnet for disagreement that happens to be on offer at Infusion Express. (Like all the best medical centers, it has a WordPress page with all the deets, not to mention Groupons.)

Is this supposed to be a business profile? Is it a thumbnail sketch of personal uplift for a couple of people who don’t like hospitals? It’s both, and it’s something more: a free-advertising wink at what might be an excellent new revenue stream.

Chiropractors, you guys better step up your game if you want some action from the Star.

Categories: News