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Feature Story: Pandemic prompts providers to re-examine real estate

The pandemic has shown hospitals and health systems they can get by with a lot less administrative space, a group of BOMA panelists agreed. So now what?

By John B. Mugford

Savvy health systems are always trying to optimize their real estate. But the disruptions – and opportunities – created by the pandemic shifted those efforts into hyper-drive, according to providers discussing the topic during BOMA’s MOB conference. (HREI™ photo)

It has always been a complex and complicated task for any health system, be it large or small, to figure out the best, most-efficient way to use and occupy all of its real estate.

Such a quest, often referred to as “portfolio optimization,” has become even more complicated in recent years as more and more systems have moved services into off-campus locations, flying their flags on medical office buildings (MOBs) in areas closer to their established, or prospective, patients.

The COVID-19 pandemic, which has placed a financial burden on many health systems, has put the quest for portfolio optimization into hyper-drive – although many systems have yet to find the time as well as the resources to do so while dealing with the uncertainties created by the current situation.

“One thing we’ve learned is

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