Healthcare Real Estate's Getting Streamlined, with Cool New Amenities
Healthcare providers are changing with the times post-Obamacare, upgrading amenities in MOBs, streamlining their billing processes and looking for convenience in every decision from where to build to how doctors interact with patients.
That was the main takeaway from Bisnow's How Attractive Is That Investment? event this morning, where 200 joined us at Swissotel Chicago to hear the top experts. Loyola University Health System director of real estate Michael Becker, one of our panelists, says larger companies have better access to capital, while there's a shift from on-campus, inpatient services to on-campus, outpatient services as new patients enter the system via the ACA.
Panelist and ESD SVP Randy Ehret (pictured with a fellow panelist, Fitzgerald Architecture Planning Development principal Daniela Fitzgerald), says technology is being brought to the patient bed. Headwalls, once considered sacrosanct spaces for doctors and nurses, are now becoming patient areas with provisions being made for longer-stay patients to hook up gaming and streaming devices to the headwalls, which pop up on the foot of the bed. Headwall interconnectivity allows for better educational training and for patients to be updated on what's happening inside a hospital's common areas. Daniela says more doctors groups are opening in retail locations but these spaces may lack the infrastructure for a medical environment, which may result in build-outs becoming cost-prohibitive.
Northwestern Memorial HealthCare VP of real estate Gina Weldy, another panelist, says healthcare as a retail category was shunned until the economic crisis but doctors groups have since proven to be reliable and stable tenants that absorb empty office footprints and maintain spaces better than standard retail tenants. Gina adds Northwestern Memorial has modeled some successes at its downtown campus after the hospitality industry, adding restaurants and shops in the hospital's common areas as it's located in a residential neighborhood.
As a certificate of need state, Cushman & Wakefield senior director Loren Guzik (right, with Mortenson Development director of real estate development Randy Tieman) says he hopes to see if Illinois' CON board will eventually shift its focus to allow the market to dictate where specialty practices can open, or if the board will still hold sway over these decisions. When he isn't working with his dialysis center clients, Loren plays drums in a band called The Dead On.