5 Major Issues Facing Healthcare Real Estate
1. Outpatient and Ambulatory Care
On Friday, nearly 500 joined us for Bisnow's 4th Annual New York Healthcare Summit at New World Stage where panelist Simone Healthcare Development president Guy Leibler said, “It’s all about moving people out of the hospital to the extent that’s possible.” Now healthcare systems are seeing a need to use the space they have more efficiently, even as they grow and incorporate more outpatient and ambulatory care. For example, a sliced finger needing six stitches could cost you $1,500 at an ER and just $150 at an ambulatory care facility.
2. Managing Growth
Mt. Sinai Health System VP for real estate Thomas Ahn (above) says if a big health system makes the wrong call when selling an existing property, "10 years later you’re gonna look back and you’re gonna say, why the heck did we ever get rid of that property?” But he adds sales are part of managing growth. Mt. Sinai is selling four buildings on its Morningside Heights campus and will have to move its energy plant system as part of dealing with the huge growth it's seeing.
3. Keeping Facilities Current
Mascioni & Behrmann president Ciro Frascilla says, "Nowadays when you walk into a medical center you want to feel like you're walking into the 21st century and not taking a step backwards." Ciro's firm is moving toward modular techniques in the medical facilities it designs. He said one application for modular is that surgery rooms are often bigger now than in the past and need room for more staff. He said modular designs can let a hospital change the size of a room as needed.
Tim Lezgus, also a panelist and manager of Con Edison's green team (third from left), talked about demand-response programs, where the utility pays facilities to use less power from the grid on scorching summer days when capacity is stretched. And Akua Lesesne of DIRTT said her company's sustainable architectural interiors can reduce a facility's carbon footprint. While a smaller carbon footprint is still a big goal of healthcare developers, Ciro said he's noticed more developers going green without the paperwork and expense that come with a LEED certification plaque on the front of a building.
5. Storm-proofing Your Balance Sheet
Among our panelists, NY Presbyterian SVP for facilities and development Sharon Greenberger (above) says hospital systems need to account for extreme weather events and the damage they wreak in their financials as the new norm.
After the event, we found Corcoran Group healthcare team lead Paul Wexler in the audience. The changes in the business aren't a temporary thing but the start of a new era, he told us last month, given the aging Boomer population and about 30 million more people eligible for care through Obamacare (yesterday was the deadline to sign up).
We also snapped event partner View Dyanmic Glass' booth. The firm makes glass that can help hospitals save energy on heating and cooling.
We also snapped Bisnow event partner Westage AVP of business development Lisa Westerfield and research analyst Alexis Farfaro. Currently, Westage is developing the second phase of 200 Westage Business Center in Fishkill, NY.