September 5, 2012

Suzy Cobin, senior vice president with HSA PrimeCare, is featured in a cover story in this month’s Chicago Hospital News and Healthcare Report in which she identifies three ways that real estate service providers can contribute to the financial objectives of a health system or physician practice group. Suzy says that, historically, health systems have focused exclusively on patient care as their top priority, but controlling costs is quickly becoming a major concern as competition in the industry is growing.

One way that savvy providers are attempting to address this issue is through smarter real estate practices. In the past, healthcare executives did not dedicate much time to real estate strategy. Most healthcare systems had a main hospital and a few satellite locations, but beyond that, there were few options for patients.

This has changed dramatically as healthcare providers now scrutinize the difference in operating costs between a large, energy and labor intensive hospital, and an outpatient facility that delivers targeted care. This can be illustrated through the pass-along costs to patients.

As a result of this trend and as a way to capture greater patient volume, healthcare providers are attempting to drive traffic to smaller, more efficient facilities. The Advisory Board Company, a global hospital consulting firm, reports that inpatient volume will grow by only 6.5 percent in the next decade, while outpatient growth will increase 22 percent.

Outpatient facilities such as building ambulatory care centers, cancer care centers, intensive care units, and specialty clinics are springing up in urban infill areas, communities in transition and suburban and rural locations, and providers are realizing dramatic savings in operating costs as a result.

The full article is available digitally on the Chicago Hospital News website.

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