JLL reports telehealth is positive for medical office, COVID-19 will accelerate the delineation between acute care and outpatient health services, and medical office investments are well-positioned to remain strong in a post-COVID environment. View the original article from JLL, here.

COVID-19 has rapidly accelerated healthcare industry trends, changing the dynamics of the patient-provider relationship. This new reality presents a unique opportunity for well-informed healthcare organizations and investors who are ready to embrace change.

According to JLL’s new Healthcare Real Estate Outlook: Adapting to a New Reality, here are some of the key considerations healthcare providers and investors should know:

1. Accelerated telehealth trends will supplement – not supplant – onsite care
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and other pandemic-related factors have created a surge in telehealth usage since March. However, this does not mean that on-site care will lose primacy. Indeed, virtual care offerings will ultimately increase the need for healthcare real estate by increasing patient touchpoints with the healthcare system, leading to follow-up live-care appointments, particularly after the pandemic. The industry can also anticipate growing need for telehealth provider suites, with features like internet redundancy and privacy for HIPAA compliance. Download the full report to view the four ways that healthcare organizations can consider the impacts of telehealth on real estate.

Changes to Medicare telehealth

Patients can access telehealth from home Originating site requirement now includes homes and any health care facility
Telehealth visits can use smartphones

Phones with audio/video capabilities and “everyday” platforms like FaceTime and Skype are eligible

New patients can get telehealth visits

HSS won’t audit to confirm an existing relationship between patient and provider

All providers are eligible to use telehealth
All healthcare professionals eligible to bill Medicare for their professional services can now use telehealth

2. COVID-19 will accelerate segmentation of wellness and acute care locations.
Demand for preventive and personalized care among two large population cohorts, Millennials and seniors, was already re-shaping healthcare real estate before the virus struck. However, post-pandemic, ease of access and lifestyle integration will be even more essential to these two groups. The pandemic may be temporary, but its effects will likely accelerate the long-term trend towards hospitals focusing on higher acuity inpatient care, with preventative care taking place in more convenient locations in the heart of population centers.

3. Medical office investment is well-positioned to remain strong in a post-COVID environment.
Medical office building (MOB) investments have been highly favored in recent years for their long-term leases, stable occupancy and income, and tenant credit quality. These merits, along with a few key cyclical drivers, are expected to promote the standing of MOBs in the new investment environment.

Medical office investment volume has reached a higher equilibrium
Investment sales volume ($US billions)

COVID-19 has accelerated industry change. By adapting accordingly, healthcare organizations and investors alike can position themselves to capitalize on durable, demographic-supported, long-term demand. To discover more, download the full report.