The country’s transforming healthcare landscape is behind local medical practices’ new construction and expansion.
That was the consensus among three real estate professionals who spoke on Thursday to members of the Building Owners & Managers Association of Westchester County at the group’s monthly luncheon.
The panelists pointed to the Affordable Care Act, New York’s regulation of hospitals and the consolidation of physician practices as some of the forces contributing to new construction and building renovation in the medical sector.
David Friedman, Montefiore Medical Center’s director of real estate, said that the 211,000 New Yorkers who have already enrolled in the federal government’s health insurance program represent a “crush of people coming into the system.”
H. Guy Leibler, president of Simone Healthcare Development, said New York’s regulation of hospitals has led to a lack of investment in state-of-the-art facilities that suit the needs of doctors practicing contemporary medicine. That means local institutions are playing catch-up.
“Everything here is slower, it’s older, it’s less functional and that is because of how New York is regulated,” said Leibler, whose company is building an 85,000-square-foot complex for the WESTMED Medical Group at 3030 Westchester Ave. in Purchase.
The on-going national transformation of medical arts means that more procedures will be done in out-patient centers instead of hospitals because doctors are able to work more efficiently in these centers, said Leibler.
Greg Frisoli, executive managing director at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, said that the government’s insurance program’s demands for accountability and record keeping means that hospitals and big medical groups will need more back office space.
In 2012 Montefiore purchased the 300,000-square-foot former Kraft building on Route 9 in Tarrytown for its computer and office staff.