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What's Next for DFW Healthcare Real Estate?

Want to get a jump-start on upcoming deals? Meet the major Dallas-Fort Worth players at one of our upcoming events!

New state-of-the-art medical centers and ambulatory outpatient clinics are springing up across the Metroplex and they’re changing the way doctors treat patients. (No more leeches.) That’s why we’re excited to bring together top DFW healthcare real estate experts at Bisnow's Future of Healthcare Real Estate at the Westin Galleria on Wednesday, Jan. 21, starting at 7:30am. Register here.

What's Next for DFW Healthcare Real Estate?

Health Care REIT SVP Mike Noto (snapped with granddaughter Olivia), one of our event speakers, tells us that MOB owners affiliated with a health system should position themselves with the hospital as not merely a landlord but as a strategic partner. Valuable real estate partners work with their hospital clients by jointly programming the real estate as a strategic tool rather than a necessary evil, he says. This year, Mike anticipates working closely with Health Care REIT’s strategic partners to determine the best uses for their MOBs. Mike has two pieces of real estate advice for health systems with which HCN partners. First, know your market. Demographics determine the best type of MOB. A full-service larger outpatient facility works best in underserved (and more rural) markets while a hospital can gain market share in more traditional suburban markets by utilizing smaller strategically placed healthcare facilities sometimes containing more limited services. In a market with a younger population, perhaps you want more family physicians, OB/GYNs and pediatricians. If your demographics are older, you should be thinking orthopedics and cardiology.

What's Next for DFW Healthcare Real Estate?

Second, determine the best way to integrate purchased physician practices. As more hospital systems (pictured is West Tower at Doctors Hospital) are purchasing physician groups, they face challenges integrating these groups into a single operation. Mike says these acquisitions, whether they are transformed into single specialty "centers of excellence" or into multi-specialty groups, are helping give birth to a patient-centered office model. Instead of the long center corridor hallway with doors to individual doctors’ offices with individual waiting rooms, the reconfigured space features a single waiting area and check-in desk. Exam rooms are located so patients see only the providers while all the administrative activity is hidden away. Just like general office space is becoming more open and modular, so are the physician spaces as they move from corner offices to cubicles for multiple doctors to use. Beyond goals for Health Care REIT's medical office building portfolio, Mike’s New Year's resolution is to be a better husband to his wife of 38 years. Even with all that practice, he says he hasn’t mastered it yet. 

What's Next for DFW Healthcare Real Estate?

Another event speaker, Texas Health Resources operations leader North zone/EVP Brett McClung, tells us the Texas Health Outpatient Center Willow Park will open Monday. The integrated health campus is the second location for this new integrated health campus concept for THR. It features a wide variety of services including advanced imaging services like MRI, X-rays and digital mammography. There will be pediatric services, ultrasound, behavioral health, cardiac rehab, a stand-alone 10-bed emergency department, a fitness center, hand therapy, physical and sports therapy, lab services, and women’s diagnostics like mammography and bone density testing. Brett says the integrated health campus concept is something that will likely expand into other markets.

What's Next for DFW Healthcare Real Estate?

Brett (here in a THR YouTube video clip) tells us THR is looking at the population’s health needs beyond sickness or injury by addressing wellness and prevention, as well as being deliberate about improving access to health tools before an accident or illness, as well as post-discharge from treatment or a hospital. All of that plays a role in the design of new facilities (like Willow Park, west of Fort Worth). The key is flexibility in design, so the building can be revamped easily for different purposes. For instance, the new medical unit at Texas Health Alliance can be converted to care for ICU patients, or a fitness area can be converted into offices, Brett tells us. Another big role is finding locations that make it easier for customers to access the providers and health services they need.

What's Next for DFW Healthcare Real Estate?

Parkland Health Hospital System EVP and hospital operations chief administrative officer Kris Gaw (one of our panelists) tells us the new 2.1M SF Parkland, at the northeast corner of Harry Hines Boulevard and Medical District Drive, is slated to open on Aug. 20. That’s when the first patients will be treated at the facility and the start of a three-day move as patients are transferred from the existing facility. She expects about 600 patients will be moved across Harry Hines into the new Parkland hospital via the skybridge into the new facility. Between now and the opening, there are weekly planning sessions including about 70 people checking all the details for the transition.

What's Next for DFW Healthcare Real Estate?

Kris says there are a lot of finishing touches to be done in the final days of prepping the new 862-bed acute care hospital. It’s a monumental task as the largest hospital construction project in the country. In addition to the hospital, there is a 175k SF outpatient center, parking for 6,000 vehicles, a central utility plant and logistics building. There’s still no word on what will happen to the current Parkland Memorial Hospital that opened in 1954, Kris tells us. Away from the office, Kris embraces her love for the outdoors. Growing up along the mountains on the West Coast, she enjoys kayaking and recently took up paddle-boarding. You can sign up here for the Future of Healthcare Real Estate at the Westin Galleria on Wednesday, Jan. 21, starting at 7:30am.