Healthcare Facilities: Urbanite to Suburbanite?

Author: Steven Kowalski

 

While the healthcare debate continues in Washington, there seems to be a booming field of healthcare construction everywhere else in the nation. In the past few years, many large healthcare providers have been moving to the suburbs- branching outside of their usual large metropolitan areas.  The theory behind the move seems to be a smart economic strategy: locate to a convenient place where your customers reside. Many people live and work in the suburbs so why have a worried parent of a sick child travel thirty or forty minutes downtown to the nearest children’s hospital? As a suburbanite, I am more likely to appreciate a hometown healthcare facility and I’m thankful for world renowned expert doctors to be in my backyard as well as the metropolitan area.

 

Marketing and competition amongst healthcare companies are the driving forces in this movement. If a major hospital moves to a new neighborhood, you can guarantee another will follow. The “suburbia healthcare marketplace” is growing at a fast pace. The facilities are being built to impress patients and many new doctors are eager to start their practices in these areas.

 

So what’s it in for the healthcare industry? The U.S. healthcare system is driven primarily by the reimbursement rules and rates of the largest single payer of healthcare services: the government (Medicare and Medicaid [CMS]). While most healthcare providers strive to meet the majority of the public’s healthcare needs within their areas of practice, it’s in their best interest to provide services that have the highest reimbursement rates and return the greatest profit. Changes or additions to the physical spaces are often requiring housing the changes in healthcare services in response to the reimbursement rates and ruling changes by CMS.

 

Some of the changes to the design of the facilities are largely related to technology, however here are a few things that will always be considered during the design and construction process:

  • The design/layout of the rooms
  • The comfort of the environment for staff and patients
  • The ability of the infrastructure to support the use of technology

 

D.A.G. has taken an innovative role on helping many of our healthcare clients have a more efficient healthcare structure.  We understand their bottom line.

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