The Role of Real Estate in the Future of Healthcare

New technology is making healthcare evolve away from traditional hospital settings to outpatient care facilities. The retail industry is helping healthcare transform itself towards value-based population health. By providing the right mix of services, healthcare leaders are bringing more convenient and affordable care to patients. Currently, hospitals are sitting on too much underutilized real estate. Adding off-campus clinics in retail settings makes more sense for patients and their needs.

As healthcare providers look at 2022, the industry remains in a state of flux. To help clear up some of the moving parts, we put together these three trends for healthcare facilities to stay on top of to help enhance the patient experience, improve financial performance, and unlock game-changing benefits for all.

The Growth of the Healthcare Economy and the Need for Healthcare Real Estate

The healthcare industry is an essential force within the U.S. economy. Did you know that it is the largest U.S. employer, employing more than 13% of the workforce? However, even as healthcare real estate has grown to more than $1.2 trillion in value and is more diversified than ever before, construction for healthcare is not keeping pace. For most healthcare facilities, reconfiguring their footprint to include more outpatient medical offices is the key to meeting new patient demand more efficiently and conveniently. Another reason for healthcare growth is that by 2060, one if four people will be over the age of 65, further increasing healthcare needs.

Tech Pushes More Care Outside Hospital Walls

Technology is also a driving force in the shift to outpatient care as healthcare continues to decentralize away from inpatient care at hospitals. Patients are increasingly expecting greater availability of care and a better overall experience when it comes to their care. Many surgical centers that once required an inpatient stay can now be performed safely in an outpatient setting thanks to improvements including minimally invasive surgical procedures - such as laparoscopy and robotic surgery. New anesthesia techniques also reduce potential complications, allowing patients to return home sooner.

Medical Offices Will Continue to be the Darling of Health Systems

Outpatient visitation increased by 25% over the past decade and it shows no signs of slowing down. Medical office buildings have emerged as the most popular property type within this category. All major healthcare facilities stand to benefit from the growth of medical office real estate. MOBs offer more consistent and positive income growth compared to other property sectors, making it a more popular niche within the space. From large healthcare systems to small, independent physician practices, the demand is fueling growth in this sector.

The Future of Healthcare

As healthcare spending grows, it is even more critical to find and deliver safe, effective, and efficient care. Real estate has an incredibly important role to play in re-imagining more convenient, and accessible health systems. We may not know all the answers to what is to come but we know for sure that all signs point towards continued growth and stability.

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