May 24, 2019

The retailization of health care

Health clinics are coming soon to a retail storefront near you, Modern Healthcare reports, citing reports from several consulting firms.

By the numbers: The number of health care tenants in retail spaces has risen 47% over the past 3 years, and could double by 2022.

  • "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."

The bottom line: Everybody involved seems to like this idea. And it's not just pharmacies and walk-in clinics. Complex specialties like 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.
  • Landlords like medical tenants, too — they generally have good credit and sign longer leases than traditional retailers would.

The big question: 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?

Go deeper: Medicare gives hospital clinics a pay cut

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

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The big picture: COVID-19 has killed at least 2,462 people and infected almost 79,000 others, mostly in mainland China. South Korea increased the infectious disease alert to red, the highest possible, as its case numbers jumped to 602 and the death toll to five. Italy's government announced emergency measures as it confirmed a spike from three to 132 cases in matter of days, making it the largest outbreak outside of Asia.

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Photo: Iranian Supreme Leader Press Office/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Iranian state TV announced Sunday that hardliners won a landslide victory in the country's parliamentary elections two days ago, including all 30 seats in Tehran, AP reports.

Why it matters: Voter turnout in the election only reached 42.57%, according to Iran's interior ministry, the first time turnout dipped below 50% since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The low turnout may signal dissatisfaction with the Iranian government and the election system.

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A medical worker in Beijing. Photo: Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

About 150 prescription drugs — including antibiotics, generics and some branded drugs without alternatives — are at risk of shortage if the coronavirus outbreak in China worsens, according to two sources familiar with a list of at-risk drugs compiled by the Food and Drug Administration.

Why it matters: China is a huge supplier of the ingredients used to make drugs that are sold in the U.S. If the virus decreases China's production capability, Americans who rely on the drugs made from these ingredients could be in trouble.