Feature Story: Outpatient is the place to be as demand rises

MOBs remain a haven for investors, Cushman webinar panelists say

By John B. Mugford

Inpatient volumes have rebounded to near pre-pandemic levels, yet many hospitals and health systems are struggling financially. (HREI photo)

The COVID-19 pandemic brought about many changes in how people go about their lives and conduct business.

One well-known trend that was already underway long before the pandemic is the rising proportion of patient care delivered in outpatient facilities. That change accelerated during the pandemic, and is likely to continue to accelerate, industry experts say.

“Many … procedures (once provided solely in hospitals) are now conducted at outpatient facilities, which have experienced substantial growth in the wake of the pandemic,” said Jacob Albers, healthcare research manager with Chicago-based Cushman & Wakefield (NYSE: CWK).

The well-known healthcare consulting firm Advisory Board projects that inpatient volumes will drop by about 1.1 percent from 2021 to 2026, Mr. Albers said, while outpatient volumes are “expected to grow across the board in total by a robust

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