Physicians and hospitals can consider getting medical offices on lease for their clinics and outpatient facilities. Two factors are set to contribute to a long term rise in doctors visits by Americans. The passing of the Affordable Care Act in 2012 has given millions of Americans health care coverage. The proportion of senior citizens in America is also set to rise over the years as the post-World War 2 generation ages. In order to cater to the rise in such visits, clinics and other outpatient facilities can help patients get medical attention without having to visit full-fledged hospitals. The market for medical office buildings is currently estimated at $5 billion, up from $4.3 billion in 2013.
Benefits of Leased Medical Offices
Physicians can also forgo the expense and procedures involved in owning and maintaining these properties by taking the lease route. Banks also require stringent conditions to be met before extending loan facilities for purchasing medical offices. Medical offices are governed by several rules and regulations which require a lot of attention towards compliance. Physicians do not have to acquire construction and project management know how to monitor the construction of the buildings. Leased medical office spaces ensure healthcare providers can now concentrate more on their obligations towards patients as the facilities are owned, operated and maintained by developers and service providers. There is also a steady supply of new property on the market. In the year 2014, developers are estimated to have added 8 million square feet of medical office buildings. Vacant general commercial properties are also being remodeled for providing health care. Newer medical office buildings also offer modular offices, paperless record keeping and well-designed spaces so that patients do not have to wait longer in pre-processing before being seen by a doctor.
Realty developers acknowledge that healthcare realty has been a stable niche even during the recent recession. Occupancy rates for medical office buildings remained 25% higher than office parks and other commercial property during the economic downturn. Hospital groups are also seeking to leverage their brands by starting outpatient facilities as they require less investment in critical care and emergency care systems. The staffing level is also quite less for these clinics compared to full-fledged clinics. With future demand and stable occupancy levels in mind, developers are growing the supply of leased medical offices in the market by announcing new projects.
Role of Medical Office Brokers
Medical office brokers act as a valuable intermediary between providers and developers for the lease of healthcare realty. After an initial consultation with the client, brokers offer them a ready list of properties which may be suitable for their needs. They can also advise on the demand for particular specialties and services in a local region. If so required, they can analyze whether outright purchase of the property would be feasible compared to leasing it. Brokers can also interface with the developer to ensure that any practice-specific requirements are met during the construction period itself. After the construction, brokers ensure all the requirements of the client are met so that they can occupy the property. They also advise on the procedural formalities required for the successful completion of the leasing agreement.
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