Medical providers continue to look to retail space in shopping malls to provide healthcare services that meet the growing demand for more affordable and accessible care. Leasing space in malls to set up specialty clinics is not new, but what is new is the trend for large medical providers to take over empty malls and repurpose them to provide more comprehensive care.
As reported in the Wall Street Journal, the Dana-Farber Cancer Center has leased two floors of a mall in Chestnut Hill, Mass., that will open in 2019 as a 140,000-square-foot repurposed health and wellness facility, reproductive medical clinic, as well as an operating gym. Other examples include the University of Mississippi Medical Center Cancer Institute located in the Jackson Medical Mall in Jackson, and Vanderbilt University Medical Center now the nearly sole occupant of One Hundred Oaks mall in Tennessee.
This move by large medical providers into retail space underscores the need to provide high quality care while cutting costs, in part driven by the shift to value-based reimbursement. According to a survey of hospital CEOs, improving access to ambulatory and outpatient settings is their primary concern, followed by reducing expenses, and repurposing shopping malls for healthcare delivery has emerged as a way to meet this concern.