Innovating At The Intersection Of Real Estate And Health Care
[The Institute for Innovation Development recently talked with Zeke Turner, Founder & CEO of Mainstreet Global – an innovative real estate development firm dedicated to fundamentally changing the way health care is delivered. Through purpose-built design and technology, they are pioneering new ideas that will improve patient outcomes and reduce the cost of health care. They provide a great case study of how innovative thinking can re-imagine, reconstruct, and favorably impact all stakeholders involved in an industry – in this case not just acute care rehabilitation patients but also health systems, physician groups, and payors.]
Hortz: What are the industry problems that you see that have to be addressed?
Turner: One of the primary problems we see is stagnation. Much of the post-acute healthcare infrastructure is aging rapidly, and was designed long before modern technology was available. The buildings themselves don’t meet the needs of patients, their families or their providers, but the operating models are also often deficient. By designing facilities with these needs in mind, organizations like ours can fill this gap in the industry and bring consumers the care they want and deserve, rather than having them linger in the hospital, be sent home too soon, or end up in a facility that’s not designed to meet their rehabilitation needs.
Hortz: What motivated you to launch your firm?
Turner: We saw a real gap in the real estate industry – that there was a real need for someone to come in and reinvent the actual physical environment in post-acute care, and that led to a need to reinvent the operating models as well. The vast majority of buildings in this industry are nearly 40 years old. While technology, patient needs, and medical advances are changing at a remarkably fast pace, the post-acute care industry has lagged behind. We believe we can make a real difference to patients, operators, and other segments of the industry with our new ideas.
Hortz: How are you uniquely answering industry problems and, as you say, transforming lives?
Turner: We are transforming lives by changing how health care is delivered. Through strategic design and technology, we are bridging a vital gap in traditional rehabilitation treatment that results in better outcomes for patients, hospitals and physicians. Aging healthcare infrastructure and the need for purpose-built facilities that are able to deliver the most modern solutions to people’s needs have been a clarion call to us. This is an area where we can successfully offer tangible improvement in the industry.
Hortz: What were the biggest obstacles? How did you solve these problems where others haven’t?
Turner: Part of the challenge is that today’s patients want a different recovery experience and better outcomes than what has been offered in the past. They want the most cutting-edge care – contemporary solutions designed to get them well and get them home as efficiently as possible, but they don’t want to sacrifice design and comfort to get it. In addition, healthcare is often data rich, but information poor. We have had to reinvent ways to track data and outcomes so people can really see and track results in a way they understand.
Hortz: What are you doing differently in running this company over other competing and incumbent firms?
Turner: Mainstreet’s dedication to purpose-built design and to creating innovation and disruption in the industry have really set us apart from other developers and operators. We’re not just recreating buildings from an outdated model. We’re questioning everything as we go – making sure we’re creating facilities that are not only capable of addressing the needs of high-acuity patients but that also offer beautiful and comfortable surroundings in which to recover. In addition, we take a comprehensive approach to our strategy incorporating all stakeholders in the process and considering all aspects of a patient’s journey from home to the hospital and back again.
Hortz: Tell me about Mainstreet’s Rapid Recovery Centers (RRC)? How are they an example of your purpose-built design?
Turner: RRCs are short-term, post-acute care recovery centers. Rather than sending patients home too soon and risk hospital readmission, keeping them in the hospital longer than necessary, or sending them to a facility that might not be best suited to their needs, RRC offers a new option. With purpose-built facilities meant to address the needs of high-acuity patients – including telemetry and hospital-grade oxygen, among other things – RRC offers a new model for many patients whose needs have not previously been addressed by the healthcare industry. Because we have designed our buildings specifically to serve this purpose, we truly do stand at the crossroads of real estate and healthcare, working through both industries to improve the lives of those we serve.
Hortz: Why is this area a good investment for investors?
Turner: What we’re seeing in health-care real estate is that the aging of the baby-boomers means there’s a real need for increased care options. From short-term, post-acute care to long-term assisted living options, as the largest segment of our population ages, the growth in this sector continues to increase. We believe this makes health care real estate an excellent investment for many types of investors. In addition, health systems and insurers continue to increase demand for new post-acute options to solve their existing problems. This tells us that this part of the industry is a great place to invest right now.
Hortz: What emerging changes and trends do you see further developing in the real estate industry?
Turner: Given the new and increasing market demands, healthcare real estate has become a more widely-recognized asset class in the investment community. We believe this trend will continue with healthcare investments becoming more and more a “core” investment. With the rise in potential buyers combined with reimbursement pressures on the operational side, we predict a rise in demand for new, healthcare-specific developments.
Hortz: What advice would you give financial advisors who want to keep up on new real estate opportunities for their clients?
Turner: In addition to focusing on commercial real estate publications and industry organizations, we believe that in order to truly understand the opportunities and trends, you have to have a global view of the industry, understand how demographic changes are impacting those trends, and continuously look for ways to tap into those opportunities. Those opportunities aren’t always so obvious or part of a national sponsor’s offerings and sometimes they can present themselves in your local community, which is how the Mainstreet story began.
Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.
I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.