Medicine: Eldercare

Medicare does a good job of taking care of the elderly once they are ill, but the seven-year-old program provides little in the way of regular preventive care. A 67-bed community hospital in Prosser (pop. 3,000), in southeastern Washington, has come up with a unique service to fill this gap. It provides those over 65 with monthly checkups at a bargain-basement price of only $6 per year.

The key to the Prosser plan lies in using the institution's staff and facilities at off times. "Hospitals have peak periods when all of the personnel are...

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