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Florida hospitals scaling back on acquiring physician practices, report finds

Part of the reason, the report said, is because independent doctors are largely entering into partnerships with each other.

Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

Aventura Hospital and Medical Center, Aventura, Florida (Google Earth)Aventura Hospital and Medical Center, Aventura, Florida (Google Earth)

Health systems in central Florida are expected to decelerate the rate at which they acquire physician groups, according to a new report by Cushman and Wakefield.

Part of the reason, the report said, is because independent doctors are largely entering into partnerships with each other, or working under large management groups that prefer to build their own facilities as opposed to leasing them.

Because of that, the great majority of medical office building construction in the state is either by hospital systems or large, independent physician groups. The latter tend to build their facilities as owner-occupiers.

This year could well see an increase in new construction by both of those groups, many of which are expected to have some kind of specialty component, such as cancer or surgery centers. At the moment, the only non-hospital or physician-related business under construction is a mixed use project that contains a blend of medical and professional office uses.

Hospital expansions are being fueled by Florida's fast-growing population, the report said, with the "big three" healthcare systems -- Orlando Health, Florida Hospital and HCA -- all competing for market share. Changes in healthcare delivery are accelerating that, with a focus on overall life improvement and community wellness.

In addition to that trend, vacancies at medical office buildings are dwindling. At 9 percent last year, those vacancies are now down to about 6 percent, and according to the report, that trend is likely to continue.

Twitter: @JELagasse

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