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April 10, 2019

A luxury, members-only gynecological clinic called Tia — which features heated exam rooms, colorful murals and robes instead of hospital gowns — opened in New York last month, and Cosmopolitan spoke with Dylan Roby, associate professor in SPH’s Department of Health Services Administration, about the appeal of exclusive, high-priced health services and who they leave behind.

“The target population for these practices is people who have expendable incomes and are willing to pay for the privilege of better access,” Roby told Cosmopolitan. “And that’s inequitable when you compare it to people who have less means to buy that access.”

More patients have begun utilizing clinics like Tia in the last decade, though they primarily serve high-income areas, said Roby, whose research focuses on topics like healthcare access and delivery and redesigning health systems.

The main appeal of luxury clinics — beyond the flashy accoutrements — is the same-day appointments and extended hours the offices typically offer, he said.

Tia started as an app providing health information, and the system still uses the app as a way for patients to input their health histories and concerns they want to address with their doctors. The clinic requires a $150 annual membership fee but accepts major insurance plans to cover services.

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