Health clinics are coming soon to a retail storefront near you

As the healthcare industry shifts its focus away from inpatient to outpatient care, more providers are moving into facilities that are in locations closer to patients — like shopping malls.

The number of health care tenants in retail spaces has risen 47% over the past 3 years, and if projected to double by 2022 according to Modern Healthcare reports,

“It’s the Walmart or Kmart that went out of business,” Greg Hagood, senior managing director with SOLIC Capital, told Modern Healthcare. “You pull right up. The parking is easy. The patient is likely to come more often.”

Most people seem to like the idea of convenient walk-in clinics, not just pharmacies, but complex specialties like orthopedics and oncology are also looking to storefronts.

Empty retail space is an attractive option for clinical practices that have gotten frustrated with the high overhead costs on hospital campuses, and a storefront is a good branding opportunity. Retail landlords like medical tenants, too — they generally have good credit and sign longer leases than traditional retailers would.

The question is, will this trend help lower health care spending, by shifting care out of expensive hospital settings? Or will it increase them by driving more utilization, the way retail space was designed to do?

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