Subtle and Bizarre Proof of Income Equality: i.e. Healthcare?

This just feels wrong to me…and in some ways frivolous. We can’t provide comprehensive universal healthcare to all of America. We can’t home the homeless. But those with thicker wallets can buy intravenous ‘cocktails’ at local ‘hydration stations’?

Of course this is being touted as a result of our increased interest in health and well being…but the main selling points seem to be based on hangover cures or fatigue or aches and pains. I haven’t seen anything in any articles saying these services are covered by health insurance. So I guess I can’t go nuts watching the next Packer game and wake up feeling lousy the next morning and whipping out my Medicare card for a custom hangover IV at the IV boutique.

And you’ll notice that these places aren’t opening in neighborhoods that might be under served by healthcare providers…nope…in the heart of the hipster Third Ward. Two IV therapy businesses coming to Milwaukee’s 3rd Ward .

Two businesses that provide intravenous hydration services are adding locations to the 3rd Ward neighborhood in Milwaukee.

One business, H2O Health Hydration Oasis, opened its first location in Brookfield. Dr. Alia Fox founded the health and wellness clinic, which offers custom IV therapy. H2O promotes its services as “IV therapy cocktails.”

The company markets its “cocktails” as a solution for viral illnesses, fatigue, wound healing and hangovers, among other uses. Fox said although IV therapy is often associated with hangovers, her office serves cancer patients after their chemotherapy, “weekend warriors,” and people who have anemia or other ailments.

In addition, Chicago-based IVMe Wellness and Performance Center plans to open a 3rd Ward clinic next year. IVMe promotes a suite of services, including IV hydration therapy.

It was a very easy decision, given the size of the market and the level of interest in health and wellness and individuals looking to really optimize their time and their health,” Scharpf said.

“We are still quite popular with people who have indulged a little too much,” she said. “If their health is in the right place, we can help them out. But really, our mission is to be helping people who are looking to be proactive with their health or in recovery stages of various ailments and health issues.”

Scharpf said IVMe’s flagship treatment is its IV hydration service, but the business offers a range of wellness products, including vitamin shots, cosmetic injectables, weight loss and hormone replacement therapy.

emphasis mine

And from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (notice this is in their Money section, not Healthcare):

The cost for an IV “cocktail” at H2O starts at $79 for a mini-cocktail (500 milliliters) and $99 for 1 liter of saline and vitamin C, called the “invigorate” cocktail. The “minis” take 30 to 45 minutes and the liter takes an hour. 

H2O’s “social survivor” treatment has B vitamins, magnesium, zinc and Zofran (an anti-nausea drug) and costs $149. The same services are available at both locations and the mobile unit

H2O’s owner, Alia Fox, said that H2O already serves people in downtown Milwaukee, so the Third Ward location was a natural next step.  

emphasis mine

So it’s like a taco truck for hangovers?? Well, yes exactly!

Fox said she gets called to work with parties and special events.

“It’s sort of bigger parties, where Milwaukee is kind of the destination.”

I can understand cheaper more convenient locations for medical services…including fluid replacement. But this seems frivolous and aimed simply at silly people who think it’s hip and who can afford it. [Hey Bobby, it’s closing time, I’m a bit tipsy. Let’s call an Uber and I’ll meet you at the IV place @ 9 for some fluid!!!]

And I guess I wonder is this regulated? Quality controlled? And yes, as I asked earlier, is any of this covered by insurance? Like the follow up treatments for cancer patients or hormone therapy mentioned in the articles. Just, wtf?

btw: Third Ward Association apparently put the kibosh on a Dollar General store in one of these locations because it wouldn’t fit in the neighborhood…but an IV hydration station does?


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