to move patients out of the acute-care setting. That’s a huge trend.
Also, part of hospitals’ reimbursement is based on patient-satisfac-tion scores, so they’re really focused on the patient experience.
That’s really good for us on the remodeling front.”
According to Pontius, the design of medical office space has
been impacted in recent years as builders conform to the standards
of a patient-centered approach to healthcare and advances in tech-
nology. “Large healthcare providers are acquiring and expanding
services off campus and closer to residential areas, providing easier
access to care.” He adds that this has prompted the development of
ambulatory surgery centers, standalone emergency rooms and
large multi-tenant medical office buildings.
“As the way people seek medical care and approach care
changes, developers must keep up by offering flexible designs and
cost-cutting amenities,” Pontius says. “Medical-office absorption
over the past five years has been concentrated in buildings con-
structed since 2000, and constricting vacancy at these properties
will drive additional deliveries this year.”
As for what hospitals need most from renovations today, Soule
says some healthcare decisions like orthopedic and having a baby
are marketing-based decisions. “People will check out facilities and
choose where they want to go, so these facilities are having to keep
up with each other in terms of quality of space as well as quality of
staff in those service lines particularly,” he says. “Healthcare deliv-
ery decisions are most commonly made by a mom, so if mom has a
great experience having a baby in one facility, the family tends to
stay with that hospital. They spend a lot of money on labor and
delivery and tours for that reason.”
Of course, with President Trump’s promise to repeal and
replace the ACA, more uncertainty and the potential for more
change have been thrown into the mix. KTGY’s Shah has a wait-
and-see attitude toward a possible repeal of the ACA and says
whatever happens, it will probably take several years to sort out.
But many health-insurance policies will still have high deduct-
ibles, and that will help lead providers to continue redesigning
the healthcare system.
Debra Schooler, vice president and national director of healthcare property management with Transwestern, says there have
been many changes in the healthcare environment due to the
ACA. “Penalties for infections and re-admissions have caused an
increased focus on care quality during hospital stays and after
patients leave the hospital. This has affected clinical procedures
and processes within hospitals and has also caused many hospitals
to become more involved in post-acute treatment by vetting providers such as long-term acute-care hospitals, nursing homes and
rehabilitation facilities.” Some companies, she says, such as
Mainstreet, have begun to offer properties built around a model
that caters to this type of transitional care.
The ACA’s impact on healthcare real estate entails both pros
and cons, Schooler says. “Experts estimate that 20 million more
people are covered by health insurance due to the ACA.
Regardless of opinions on efficacy, that is more people being
treated and, thus, a necessity for more real estate. In addition,
ACA requirements have focused capital spending on electronic
health-record implementation, physician practice acquisition
and hospital consolidation.”