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Where Healthcare Credit meets Retail Rent: Why you should be adding Urgent Care Facilities to your Tenant Mix

By Cameron Woodford – Associate Advisor

In the last few years the “urgent care” or “quick care” industry has been on fire and with good reason. Key market changes resulting from the Affordable Care Act as well as shifting consumer expectations with regard to healthcare, have created an environment for these business to thrive making them a great addition to any tenant roster.

The requirements of the ACA have forced further specialization within the industry.
The financial and administrative costs of providing urgent care in an emergency room setting have become prohibitive and both the medical field and consumers are looking for alternatives. Existing urgent care clinics are able to service a portion of the emerging market this has created, but it is only the beginning. Only a small percentage of the 136.6 million annual ER Visits require hospital admission (1) , and every year more and more patients will turn to urgent care specialists to save time and money.

Consumers put more priority on convenience than their relationship with their doctor.
Many young people simply do not have a connection to their primary care doctor, never signed up at a new practice when they relocated or they never had one at all. For a quick prescription refill, employer drug test, physical or travel medicine, quick care providers will be able to schedule an appointment sooner and take care of patient needs faster.

The facility requirements can make use of otherwise marginal pads.
Most quick care companies want “corner of Main and Main” visibility so they can remain top of mind for their current customers and use their signage as a marketing opportunity. Many providers only need between 2,000 and 4,000 square feet and prefer stand alone buildings. Since they do not have the parking requirements of traditional retail they can make use of pads that might be too small for other more traditional tenants.

Your other tenants will thank you…

Especially in grocery anchored or neighborhood shopping centers. Quick care facilities are a destination type use and will drive traffic to shopping centers. Time previously spent in the waiting room can be used to catch up on errands in the center or do some more impulsive shopping at specialty retailers. Sales should increase across the plaza which is only a good thing when it comes time to renew a lease.

(1)  http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/emergencydepartment. html