- Today’s healthcare providers have their fingers on the pulse of retail real estate and are swooping in to transform store space into exam and procedural rooms.
- The number of mall-based medical clinics has increased by almost 60% from 2017 to 2019, CNN reports, in the same period leases for clothing retailers have declined by more than 10%.
- According to a report by The Advisory Board, outpatient visits are expected to increase by 58.6% by 2028. Because outpatient procedures generally require a quick turnaround, they need to be easy to access, like in a shopping center.
One of the biggest complaints patients have about healthcare is the need to go to several facilities to get tests. It can be days or even weeks to get tests scheduled but some medical facilities are trying to change that.
So what is a medical hub? It’s a healthcare facility where patients can meet with healthcare professionals and get all the tests their doctors need to diagnose and treat patients. Some even have on-site pharmacies.
The largest example of a mall becoming a medical hub may be in Minneapolis. In 2019, the Mall of America teamed up with the University of Minnesota physicians and a Minnesota-based healthcare system to open a 2,300-square-foot walk-in medical clinic with exam rooms, a radiology room, lab space, and a pharmacy. Elsewhere in the country, medical services are reviving the wings of struggling shopping centers
- The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is planning a 34,000 square-foot oncology and hematology outpatient facility in the Patriot Place shopping center in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
- Also in Massachusetts, developers are preparing to rebuild the former Greendale Mall into a lifestyle hub with medical offices, apartments, and retail.
- In Dallas, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Parkland Hospital announced plans to occupy space vacated by Sears at the former Red Bird Mall.
- And in Nashville, Vanderbilt Health, operated by the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, operates as an anchor alongside Michaels and PetSmart at Hundred Oaks Mall.
Will it work? Well, it solves one of the biggest complaints of patients in the need to go somewhere else for further tests but there could be some problems. The capitalization cost of opening a medical hub can be very high and these hubs don’t make money if diagnostic machines are idle.
Have a pain in your knee an HCP could order unneeded tests that actually drive up the cost of your visit. Some call it “preventative medicine” because people are quick to sue HCP’s if they don’t correctly diagnose medical problems. Still, the option of having a “one-stop-shop” for all your medical needs sounds enticing.
Now, if we could just get easy one solution electronic health records.