$40M Medical Office Project In Miami Breaking Ground March 6

MedSquare Health, a $40 million, 116,000-square-foot, three-story Class A medical office building project is being developed by joint-owners AJP Ventures and Mas Group in Coral Gables. An official groundbreaking ceremony will be held at the site on March 6 at 10 a.m.

Cushman & Wakefield Managing Director Gordon Messinger will lead leasing for the property, marketing the space to a variety of tenants in the medical field. Asking rents will begin in the low $40s per square foot net.

MedSquare Health will be situated on 4.5 acres at the corner of SW 87th Ave. and SW 94th St., within the Baptist Hospital medical submarket, which is one of South Florida’s primary healthcare corridors. The project will be the first off-campus, Class A medical office building developed in the submarket in over 20 years. The site is also within walking distance to Baptist Hospital, which is South Florida-based Baptist Health’s largest facility and one of the largest hospitals in the nation.

“With its state-of-the-art design and central location, MedSquare Health will be South Florida’s premier medical office building, appealing to leading national, regional and local health care providers,” said Messinger.

The design of the LEED-certified building will be led by Modis Architects with careful attention to the quality of tenant and patient experience, from the work environment to outdoor gathering spaces, with an emphasis on maximizing natural light throughout with floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Dual entry will provide access from the adjoined, two-story parking garage as well as the prominent entrance on Galloway Road. Other building amenities include valet parking, a 7 per 1,000-square-foot parking ratio, an on-site café and shared conference room space.

“As the aging American population lives longer, it will continue to drive demand for healthcare real estate,” said Alberto J. Pérez, Founder and President of AJP Ventures. “MedSquare Health will fill a geographic gap for health professionals looking to better serve their patients. That includes aiding healthcare providers in all types of practice who are looking to open, relocate or expand in South Florida.”

Are Non-Profit Hospital Mergers Making Things Better Or Worse?

You’ll hear phrases like “economies of scale” and “acquired efficiencies” and the obliquely vague “synergistic benefits.” It might make sense when talking about two small banks or mid-sized manufacturers. When it comes to hospitals and healthcare, it’s a different story.

Take Baptist Hospital. It was founded in 1960 on a vast tract of land covered with rockland pine scrub and palmettos at the corner of Galloway Road and Kendall Drive. There was little in the area. Dadeland Mall wouldn’t open as a small open-air shopping center for another two years.

From Baptist’s humble beginning, it has grown to a 728-bed hospital that serves about 32,000 in-patients and 72,000 emergency out-patients a year. The parent entity, Baptist Health South Florida has acquired hospitals as far north as Boynton Beach and as far south as Marathon in the Keys.

Its website shows that it operates 106 separate medical units and controls the practices of 245 physicians. It has almost 20,000 employees and over 3,000 doctors have privileges. That’s a lot of fingers in a lot of pies.

As a not-for-profit hospital, Baptist is not supposed to be profit-driven. But a look at its most recent audited income statement shows that it had what it terms “Excess of Revenues Over Expenses” of almost $250 million, giving it a bigger “profit” than industrial aluminum giant Alcoa. And that’s just in the past year.

One advantage that Baptist and other non-profits have over other entities is that it pays income taxes only on the money made by a handful of its for-profit subsidiaries. And it pays no ad valorem taxes. Its Kendall campus has an assessed total value of almost $385 million, yet it pays no property taxes, even on the portions of the office towers it rents out to unaffiliated entities. And it pays nothing in property taxes on its other hospitals, either.

Jackson Memorial, owned by the county’s Public Health Trust, doesn’t pay any taxes, either. Mount Sinai on Miami Beach is assessed by the Property Appraiser at $121 million, with $109 million of that exempt. Mercy Hospital, actually owned by HCA, is assessed and taxed at about $144 million of property value.

Healthcare is not price driven. Someone involved in a head-on collision on S. Dixie Highway won’t stop the ambulance until he can do a price comparison of the x-rays, MRIs, room rates, surgery, and pharmacy costs before telling the EMTs which hospital to go to.

The website MissionToCare.org maintains a database with average costs for 50 typical hospital treatments at 197 hospitals throughout the state of Florida. The birth of a child at Baptist averages $21,876. Baptist is able to negotiate a rate of insurance company reimbursement of about 48 percent or $10,575. The cost of childbirth at Jackson Memorial is $16,793, but Jackson only collects $6,432 from insurance companies. The Baptist mother has to come up with $11,301 while the Jackson Memorial mom is expected to pay less: $10,550. Mount Sinai charges about what Baptist does for the birth, but only manages to collect about what JMH gets from the insurance companies. In fact, the findings of several studies show that having a single dominant non-profit hospital in a market actually can raise patient costs between 26 to 40 percent.

How does Baptist do this? It’s in a stronger bargaining position when it comes to negotiating its reimbursement rates with insurers because is controls a much larger percentage of the market than any other non-governmental hospital. A 40- or 100-bed hospital can’t demand the same reimbursement rate that Baptist can.

If medical care were a normal business whose customers shopped on price, then a hospital with Baptist’s market clout might be expected to offer lower prices because of the volume of patients that it treats.

It doesn’t because it doesn’t have to.

Those who study the effect of hospital mergers have been looking for empirical evidence pointing in one direction or another, trying to answer the question of how consolidations affect patient prices. Researchers are finding that the goal of mergers, to generate cost savings and improve the quality of care, are falling short. The data points to the fact that almost all of the consolidations fail to achieve these goals.

Instead, hospital mergers will continue as a way to capture greater and greater market share, expand financing and cash flow options. In all too many cases, mergers are a way to enhance the personal egos of the organizations’ leaders than to enhance health outcomes or lower costs.

The healthcare industry, from doctors to hospitals to pharmacies and drug makers consume about one-fifth of our Gross Domestic Product, the measure economists use to weigh the amount of goods and services produced each year. That’s over $10,000 for every man, woman, and child in this country.

Among the 11 most industrialized countries, the U.S. ranks last for health outcomes, equity, and quality. All that spending has yielded poor health outcomes and a worsening life expectancy when compared with these other countries according to a 2018 report from The Commonwealth Fund.

That makes the advantages that non-profit hospitals all the more egregious. They can generate “profits” which are never taxed, avoid taxes in their properties, accumulate a war chest with which to buy out smaller competitors, and pay for it all by either keeping prices artificially high or even raising them.

So what’s the solution? Prohibiting hospital mergers? Encouraging them? Single payer health system? Going back to the old healthcare system with its gaping holes in the safety net?

What we need is a willingness to put politics aside, and maybe even profits, and to look at our health system with unjaundiced eyes, rather than being blind cheerleaders for local institutions. If the primary goal is to give value to shareholders or to increase market share, then our present system is adequate. But if instead we want our healthcare system to improve the health of everyone at a reasonable cost, to improve the quality of life, and to increase longevity, we need to start over.

Source: Community Newspapers

This Hospital Is The Highest Ranked In Florida, According To U.S. News & World Report

Baptist Hospital of Miami ranked No. 1 in South Florida and No.6 in the state in the ranks of best hospitals in a new report from U.S. News & World Report.
The nonprofit hospital was one of 12 South Florida hospitals to get a “best” designation, according to the publication’s 2017-18 rankings published Tuesday morning. It was one of four Baptist Health South Florida hospitals in the rankings.

“We are very proud that Baptist Hospital earned the top spot in our area for its commitment to excellence. We share this first-rate recognition with our physicians, nurses and employees, who carry out our mission of providing high-quality, compassionate healthcare to our patients,” said Brian E. Keeley, president and CEO of Baptist Health. “To be honored among the best hospitals locally and in the nation validates that we are meeting and surpassing the high standards we set for our organization and that results in great patient care.”

Nationally, the Mayo Clinic claimed the No. 1 spot for the second year in a row, followed by Cleveland Clinic at No. 2 and Johns Hopkins Hospital at No. 3. The highest ranked hospital in Florida was once again Mayo Clinic Jacksonville in the No. 1 position.
U.S. News releases the rankings to help patients make more informed health care decisions, the publication said in a news release.
Other South Florida hospitals in the 2017-18 U.S. News report and their rankings in Florida are:
– Cleveland Clinic Florida, No. 2 in South Florida and No. 8 in the state.
– Holy Cross Hospital, No. 3 in South Florida and No. 10 in the state.
– University of Miami Hospital, No. 4 in South Florida and No. 12 in the state.
– Memorial Regional Hospital, No. 5 in South Florida and tied for No. 14 in the state.
– Boca Raton Regional Hospital, South Miami Hospital, West Kendall Baptist Hospital tied for No. 6 in South Florida and tied for No. 16 in the state.
– Bethesda Hospital East, Homestead Hospital and Mount Sinai Medical Center tied for No. 9 in South Florida and tied for No. 23 in the state.
– Memorial Hospital West, No. 12 in South Florida and tied for No. 33 in the state.
For the 14th consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report ranked the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute of the University of Miami Health System as the No.1 hospital in the nation for ophthalmology.

“Our patients inspire Bascom Palmer’s superb team of 1,200 doctors, scientists, nurses, ophthalmic technicians and support staff to excel in patient care, vision research, education and surgical innovation,” said Dr. Eduardo C. Alfonso, chairman of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. “Ensuring personalized, exceptional care for each of our patients is our priority. The fact that ophthalmologists from around the country recognize us as the best in the nation again and again is a great honor.”

Source: SFBJ

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