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Hospitals boost construction


Construction work at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Modern Healthcare reports on what might surprise some folks given the challenges facing hospitals — a upsurge in building.

“Most of the focus has been on outpatient services as healthcare increasingly shifts to lower-cost-care settings. Health systems and hospital chains also are opening freestanding emergency departments to bring in additional volume. But even on the inpatient side, there’s a greater emphasis on service line planning as hospitals seek to become more competitive in high-margin specialties.”

“I’m not aware of any market where there’s not activity,” Dick Miller, president of Earl Swensson Associates, a Nashville-based architecture firm, told Modern Healthcare “It’s definitely picking up. There’s a lot of activity and a lot of it’s focused on outpatient” and specialty services.

There are signs that the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision on Affordable Care Act subsidies  has accelerated building plans by removing a lot of uncertainty about future federal funds being available for hospitals through the ACA’s Medicaid expansion.
Projects, of course,  depend on local needs.” For instance, said  the publication,  “Rural hospitals, which serve an aging population, are adding skilled nursing and geri-pysch facilities, he said. In the suburbs, there’s demand for freestanding emergency departments to serve patients who don’t want to make the trek into the city for urgent care.”

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