How telehealth is changing healthcare real estate

By: Kw Now Local News
| Published 12/22/2020

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How telehealth is changing healthcare real estate

'Telemedicine, lifestyle, wellness trends and COVID-19 are disrupting healthcare.'

Telemedicine, lifestyle, wellness trends and COVID-19 are disrupting healthcare

There's no doubt the healthcare field has been disrupted by COVID-19. While trying to navigate the worst pandemic in recent history, healthcare providers were forced to innovate and accelerate many industry trends by as much as half a decade in order to continue to provide critical patient care.

Telehealth came to the forefront at the onset of the pandemic. While virtual-care technology has been in existence for many years, it was restricted from expanding due to limitations on reimbursements, liability, and HIPAA. Regulations have been temporarily lifted to provide patient care during COVID - 19, but without addressing longer-term confidentiality and the unresolved factors of payment, restrictions are expected to be tightened post-pandemic.

In recent years, the U. S’s two largest population groups —millennials and seniors — have been reshaping the healthcare industry by demanding a more personal long-term, preventative approach to health. As a result, wellness and acute care have become increasingly segmented in healthcare real estate and functionality. The pandemic will likely advance the trend for hospitals to focus more on critical inpatient care as preventative medicine moves to more convenient locations in the heart of demographic centers.

As Audrey Symes, JLL’s Director of Healthcare and Life Sciences Research, tells James Cook, even as healthcare delivery models change, medical office investments will remain highly favored due to their defensive investment qualities — long-term leases, stable occupancy and income, strong tenant credit quality, and tenant retention. Our latest research shows that through the most acute phases of the pandemic, MOBs have distinguished themselves by having minimal rent relief requests and high collection rates. As investors reactivate and seek out safe havens, these qualities, along with a few key cyclical drivers, are expected to promote the standing of MOBs in the new investment environment.

By adapting accordingly, healthcare organizations and investors can capitalize on durable, demographic-supported, long-term demand.