By Ernie Anaya, MBA
Location for a medical office is of the utmost importance to the success of the practice it supports. Due to changes in regulations and the market, healthcare providers are now seeking locations near where their patients live. This trend has resulted in a “retailization” of care. Medical office seekers can learn a lot from the retail industry, which has made site selection a science.
The following are factors that need to be taken into consideration when selecting a location for your medical office:
- First and foremost, what is the demographics profile for your practice? Who are your best patients? Where do they live? And what education and income levels do they have? What are their medical expenditures and how many doctor visits do they make a year? What is the population to physician ratio in that particular location? Is it above 2,000?
- As with retail, site selection within the desired demographics area requires visibility and accessibility (ingress and egress) to be successful. It should be located near mass transportation and should have an adequate Traffic Count. Is there a medical cluster requirement that the office be located near a hospital or other complimentary medical offices and businesses?
- What are the space requirements in terms of workflow, number of patients seen daily, number of exam rooms, consult rooms, waiting rooms, offices, labs, break rooms and computer rooms?
- What size and configuration is needed, including Tenant Improvements? What utilities are required? Is 24 hour access required? Would the landlord have access to computer rooms or file rooms creating a potential HIPAA infraction? Is there special equipment requiring specific floor loads? Are you planning on X-RAY or MRI? Then you must also look at shielding and code and ordinance requirements.
- What about disposal of blood-borne pathogens requirements and OSHA compliance? Is this type of use allowed by the landlord? Do you have storage requirements? Parking needs? What amenities are needed? What type building is required (Class A or B office or retail?) Do you need rail access and ADA compliance?
- Beware of competition; do you need an Exclusivity Clause?
- What are the budget requirements when dealing with a Triple Net lease including property taxes, maintenance and insurance costs, or the cost of tenant improvements?
With all of these considerations, the process for leasing a medical office can be complex and time consuming. Choosing the right location requires planning and expertise. A tenant broker can help you analyze your requirements, find the right location, and negotiate on your behalf. Tenant brokers only represent you under BRRETA Agency law in Georgia and receive their commission from the landlord. It is also important to work with a healthcare specialist to help you navigate through the entire process.
For more information on this subject, or for any commercial real estate related questions or information, you’re invited to email [email protected] or call Ernie Anaya at 404-876-1640 x 130.