Lake Effect | Bargain Hunting 

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A billboard currently gracing the sides of certain UTA buses promotes Salt Lake Regional Medical Center—in a very specific way. Near the images of a clearly relieved mother and her young daughter is text touting the quality of the hospital’s emergency-room care.

Now we know that health care is a big-money game, and it’s entirely possible that Salt Lake Regional’s emergency room may be a top-notch operation. But this seems like an inefficient use of advertising resources. Sure, maybe you’d take a hospital’s marketing into account when considering where to deliver your baby, or have knee surgery. But when was the last time you sat around weighing the pros and cons of which emergency room you should use—or had the time to ponder anything beyond excruciating pain in an ER-type situation? Maybe it’s just us, but our our usual criterion for urgent care has generally been, “Which one is closest to where I happen to have a sucking chest wound right now?”

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