Page 8 — Health Care & Senior Housing Quarterly — April 2021 HEALTH CARE — TRENDS W ellness has been the topic du jour in health care for the better part of a decade, and with good reason. Developing a more thoughtful continuum of care that focuses on prevention and improv- ing patient outcomes represents an essential evolution for our health care system. On the real estate side, that focus has translated into new wellness centers on campuses across the country. The number of hospitals offering health and wellness pro- grams increased from just 19% in 2010 to 66% by 2015 and continues to increase. The idea is that adding dedicated wellness centers on hospital cam- puses brings more people in, which translates into greater patient loy- alty and more business down the road. A 2015 study by the Medical Fitness Association suggested that wellness center construction could provide returns on investment between 6% and 10%. Over the last decade, that’s translated into a kind of amenities race in the form of ever-bigger wellness centers on hospital campuses. The problem with adding a well- ness center to your hospital is the broadness of the definition of the term. Many of the wellness centers that have been added to hospital campuses in the last decade are massive – think 70,000 square feet or more – and therefore expensive. As a builder who offers, among its specialties, a focus on health care environments, this is great news. But as a developer who is looking for opportunities that will produce the greatest return on investment for our health care partners and their patients, the story is a bit more com- plicated. In many cases, these huge facilities ultimately function as little more than elevat- ed gyms. And just like any gym, this leaves you with a membership that is largely incon- sistent. When it comes to predicting a more stable revenue stream for your hospital system, identifying the audience most likely to use your services and – most importantly – supporting the kind of care that translates into actual patient loyalty, a gym and some nutritional counsel- ing simply won’t cut it. n Going beyond the gym . Looking at the kinds of facilities in Colo- rado that support a more targeted approach and a more consistent, predictable revenue stream, uses like rehabilitation facilities, sports performance and sports rehabilita- tion, and orthopedic facilities top the list. Facilities like UCHealth’s Stead- man Hawkins clinic are a great example of why. This is a facility that is taking sports performance to a whole new level for both profes- sional and amateur athletes alike. They understand their target mar- ket and offer specialized services and therapies targeted at different levels of athletes. n Supporting better integration of services. Beyond understanding your target market, the most important factor our development arm looks at when we’re considering investing in wellness facilities is a medically integrated service model. California-based Active Wellness, for example, develops its facilities (including here in Colorado) around a model that prioritizes working directly with referring physicians to develop more effective, collabora- tive models of care that effectively creates an integrated support team around the patient. Founder and Chairman Jill Kinney notes that this model is significantly more time and resource intensive, but points out that it’s more than worth it when you look at outcomes – both for patients and hospital systems. According to Kinney, when Active Wellness looked at national data, just about 40% of people referred by their physicians to a medical fit- ness program actually entered that program. Since Kinney launched Rethink the function of campus wellness centers Taber Sweet Director of real estate development, Mortenson Development The Allina Health Hastings Clinic provides comprehensive services that address a broad spectrum of care needs, from wellness to primary care to specialty care, including heart con- sults, lung care, audiology care, pregnancy care and more. Please see Sweet, Page 16