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Healthcare is one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S. economy, worth over $1.2 trillion and employing more than 13% of the American workforce. Rising population numbers and a growing healthcare economy have heightened the need for healthcare real estate development. COVID-19 has only accelerated healthcare industry trends, and construction isn’t exactly keeping up. Let’s take a look at some of the ways developers are meeting the medical real estate development demands!

Retail: The New Medical Real Estate

The rapidly growing demand for medical real estate has forced many healthcare providers to establish their practice in retail spaces. Most medical practices occupy office properties, however more are now taking advantage of retail space. Existing retail spaces offer convenience and ample parking for patients and medical staff, and less commitment for developers.

Rather than constructing new medical real estate from scratch, medical office developers can add onto existing retail spaces. Vacant lots associated with underutilized retail spaces offer healthcare property development opportunities.

Coworking Medical Offices

Medical office development is seeing a rise in coworking medical space. Less physicians today are establishing their own independent practice, and instead are being employed by healthcare organizations. Why? Opening an independent practice comes with startup costs that young doctors cannot afford when they have a wealth of student loan debt to pay off. Owning an independent practice also comes with the responsibility of property build-out and maintenance.

Coworking space is ideal for those that still wish to own a private practice without being overwhelmed by the costs and challenges of setting it up themselves. Coworking spaces handle all construction, regulatory issues, and filings for locating, securing and building out the office, so providers can focus on their patients.

Decentralized Outpatient Care

Healthcare delivery is shifting toward a more decentralized model away from inpatient care at hospitals. It’s easier and more cost-efficient to service patients from outpatient facilities in populated centers. Developers are taking advantage of retail spaces and medical offices adjacent to hospitals for outpatient care.