BEDFORD, INDIANA: WHOSE AMBULANCE WILL GET THERE FIRST?

TWO HOSPITALS WITH OPPOSING HEALTH-CARE PHILOSOPHIES ARE DUKING IT OUT IN BEDFORD. THE TOWN ISN'T BIG ENOUGH FOR BOTH OF THEM

Hospital care in Bedford, Ind., is an odd case of capitalism in action--maybe even hyperaction. Should you get into a car wreck on Highway 50 as it passes through town, two local hospitals can send ambulances to compete for your business. If you are sufficiently alert, you can choose between Dunn Memorial Hospital and Bedford Regional Medical Center. To avoid unseemly tugs of war, the city requires that the hospitals alternate pickups of victims not well enough to state a preference. And the police are on hand to sort things out. "They'll back off when it's not their turn," Bedford chief...

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