The commercial revolution of DFW Healthcare – D Magazine
Rising insurance costs and home and curbside innovations are prompting consumers to take a closer look at their health care options. Gone are the days when receiving medical care in a retail development storefront was considered poor, and healthcare systems are rapidly addressing the consumerism that has flooded the industry.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, deductibles (the minimum out-of-pocket expenses before insurance takes effect) have jumped 68.4% since 2011, from an average of $991 to $1,669. Last year, 85% of all workers had a deductible in their plan, up from 74% a decade ago, and for companies with fewer than 200 employees, the average deductible is $2,379, down from $1,397 for large companies.
This spending, along with the lure of new, more convenient services and a societal push for wellness, is driving consumers to shop around for insurance providers and plans. They want more locations, extended opening hours and quality services with little cost increase. There is also a growing demand for transparency. Hospitals are now required to display prices for most services and procedures, and while those numbers can be difficult to navigate, price transparency allows consumers to compare value in ways they couldn’t. have before.
Health systems are responding by expanding their services at lower cost and getting closer to patients. Texas Health Resources has opened more than a dozen of its smaller Breeze Urgent Care facilities on the north side of Dallas-Fort Worth, and Medical City Healthcare has 45 CareNow urgent care clinics between Denton and Burleson. “Systems are more aware of how they are spending their capital,” says Ethan Garner, south-central healthcare manager for commercial real estate firm JLL. “Previously, hospital systems would just look over the horizon, see where the roofs go, buy large land reserves and hold them for a long time. I think they are much more strategic and judicious in how they spend their capital and acquire land. »
Health Care Trends: Developing Downsizing
Almost every major health system in the region has built a large acute care hospital in Frisco to serve Collin County’s growing population. Texas Health Hospital Frisco was built in partnership with UT Southwestern in 2019 – a full 325,000 square foot facility with 63 beds. Partners are expanding this facility, but in other areas the tactics are changing. THR has built what it calls “integrated health campuses” in Burleson and Prosper, which are much smaller mixes of hospital departments and doctors’ offices. Burleson’s facility measures 53,000 square feet, balancing trends of a smaller footprint, moving closer to patients and wellness, as it is equipped with a fitness center. “We didn’t necessarily see at that time that there was a need for beds,” Sullivan says. “We research the market, try to understand the specific needs and how can we help fill them.”
Systems are also investing more heavily in smaller, neighborhood clinics and brand awareness for these locations, bringing health care to consumers to meet convenience demands. “There will be less emphasis on large bed towers and more on community hospital settings that are smaller in nature,” Garner says. “They will be 20, 50 or maybe 75 beds. But they’re not going to bring down 300 or 400 bed towers in communities anymore. »
For start-up practices, cost and convenience are even more of a concern because there’s no brand recognition and providers have to scramble for more patients rather than throwing a logo on the wall. These reduced margins make retail healthcare establishments even more attractive. “Historically, a lot of people were afraid to walk into a mall, but that was thrown out the window,” says Thomas Allen, founder of Practice Real Estate, a healthcare real estate company. “It’s a cheaper option to get to market.”
Consumers and systems are exploring new models of care in new places to respond to a growing push for a holistic approach to wellness in healthcare. Physical and mental health, sports medicine, and chronic disease management don’t need to be in massive, more expensive health centers. “It’s about creating an environment that’s focused on providing a feel-good environment that takes people away from the hospital and gives them a better quality of life,” says Roman Bogoslavsky, chief investment officer at Cambridge Holdings, a Dallas-based medical facility developer. .
Systems such as Texas Health Resources, which is known for its award-winning hospitals, are adopting an even newer model of care delivery. Called comprehensive ambulatory care, the new centers sit somewhere between emergency care and a hospital, bringing together primary care physicians and specialists in one location, making it easier for patients to see more than one doctor. This means that labs, imaging, wellness checks and specialist visits can be completed in a single visit, without the logistical challenges of visiting a large hospital.
These developments can also be planned to reflect the community. “The demographics are different in every market,” says Jon Sullivan, vice president of real estate operations at Texas Health. “Hospitals are expensive to build, so we don’t want to create beds where we don’t need them and we want to provide services as soon as possible. That doesn’t mean there won’t be a hospital in some of these markets, but we are focused on consumer needs.
Will is the editor of CEO magazine and editor of D CEO Healthcare. He wrote about health care…