The Ever-Evolving Consumerism Within Healthcare

For over a decade O’Donnell Commercial has blogged about the “retail” shift in healthcare real estate. While on and off hospital campus medical office buildings will most likely always be a prominent fixture, more and more medical facilities are opening in what would be considered a retail establishment. In October we discussed how healthcare systems are prioritizing a “hub and spoke” model to best reach patients. Just a few weeks ago Becker’s Healthcare solidified the growing consumerism in an article titled, “Consumerism, labor costs & more: The ASC industry’s biggest disrupters.”

The article continues our discussion on not only how the past decade has seen a trend emerge within healthcare to operate more as retail unit, but also how the COVID-19 pandemic has fast-tracked this effort. With a migration of suburban growth, patients are looking for convenience when it comes to their healthcare needs. What outpatient center or urgent care facility is closest? Additionally, they are looking for transparency in prices. Just as you may walk into a grocery store and see prices clearly labeled, patients are looking for costs before they choose a provider/location.

Illinois Bone & Joint Institute CEO, Andre Blom, commented on transparent pricing when Becker’s asked him, “What outside force do you see as the biggest disrupter of the ASC industry?”

Blom’s response, “We believe that the single biggest disrupter in the ASC will be the patient. As pricing and arbitrage becomes more transparent, it will become a more engaging component of patient choice in care plan design when it comes to their health coverage. We are at the beginning of the “shopping” era — where it used to be just patient feedback and more subjective information, the shift in site of service will be driven more by what is available to the patient from a price, outcome and safety standpoint. 

COVID-19 absolutely affected patient choice when it comes to surgeries on the elective side of the spectrum. We need to all pay attention to how and why patients are partnering with these decisions. Network options will have to be designed in a manner that encapsulates all the needs of the patient — inclusive of financial awareness.”

How does this affect commercial real estate in the Chicagoland area? O’Donnell Commercial believes that signage, location, ease of parking, new captivating branding, and attractive interiors/exteriors will be of even more importance in this next decade. We can help your medical practice find a space that will generate more business in the new “shopping” era of healthcare.