Albany Medical Center to Rent-Out Rooms on Airbnb
By Fred Furnace
Published April 4th, 2016
Albany Medical Center
ALBANY – Visitors to the Capital Region have a new choice in overnight accommodations as Albany Med is now renting vacant rooms to the vacationing public.
Hospital officials say they have started using Airbnb — the hip, online marketplace for do-it-yourself vacation goers — to rent-out empty hospital beds to random strangers.
“It’s a great way for the hospital to make a few extra bucks,” said Albany Medical Center’s Chief Operating Officer Grover Heineken, M.D.
Heineken says the hospital has more than 700 beds, but patients usually only occupy about 85-90 percent of that capacity on any given night.
“We usually have between 70-100 empty beds on a typical day,” Heineken said. “So we have decided to use the Internet to rent those beds out to total strangers for $30 to $50 a night. It's a total win-win for everyone."
Albany Med will be listing beds in the following sections of the hospital: ICU, Neonatal Intensive Care, Maternity, Coronary Bypass, and Psychiatric Evaluation.
The Airbnb rooms, while still technically part of the hospital, do not come with any medical services, Heineken said. Thus, renters should not expect to receive diagnostic services, X-rays, or physical or mental evaluations during their stay.
Heineken also said the Airbnb beds will come with a dividing curtain for privacy and a 19-inch television with about 12 cable channels — most of which come in grainy. Guests will be given complimentary paper robes, slippers, and individual-sized portions of juice and gelatin. Full access also will be granted to the hospital’s cafeteria, gift shop, and rest rooms.
“These renters are on vacation, so we will not be enforcing normal hospital rules, either, like prohibiting smoking, drinking or drug use,” Heineken said. “These people don’t need a bunch of hospital restrictions getting in the way of their vacation fun. So our motto's gonna be: 'Nuestra casa es su casa.'"