Chris Barnet joined Cushman and Wakefield as Executive Director in its Healthcare Advisory Group this week after serving Vice President and Director of Healthcare Services at Colliers International. We chatted with him about his move, what the last year held for healthcare real estate, and what he sees going forward.
Barnet noted that uncertainty rules the day, as reimbursements for doctors from insurance and medicaid are always fluctuating, impacting what kinds of real estate moves healthcare companies can make.
He sees a reversal of a trend that started three or four years ago, when doctor groups were quickly consolidating under hospital umbrellas. While still present, Barnet says that many physician groups found it wasn’t what they thought it would be, and are moving away from joining hospital groups. “They didn’t go to medical school to be employees,” he says.
Barnet foresees a reduction of that consolidation, especially as the retailization of healthcare continues. He sees offices leaving large campuses and high rises and moving into neighborhoods where they can be closer to the patient base.
“The massive systems are seeing they need to get closer to customer base,” he says. “Getting into the neighborhoods is easier for the elderly. The office is easier to find in a strip center.”
Because of reimbursement uncertainty, he also sees physician groups less likely to sign long term leases. In years prior, a 10-year lease was common, but a five-year contract is more common now. He notes that it is difficult for developers to get financing for new construction if tenants are on five-year leases, so it may cause a slowdown for medical office construction.
Barnet said his move was all about better serving his clients, and wanted to take the opportunity to fill in the healthcare role for C&W in DFW. He is one of D CEO‘s Power Brokers, has represented United Surgical Partners, Kindred Healthcare/Rehabcare Hospital Holdings, the American Institute of Gastric Banding, Diabetes America and Midland Memorial Hospital, and will oversee leasing, tenant advisory, investment sales and development for healthcare.
“My time at Colliers International was enjoyable and rewarding,” Barnet said via release. “However, when Cushman & Wakefield offered me the chance to join a team of professionals with deep experience in the healthcare industry—thereby providing me the resources to service my clients at the highest level—I jumped at the opportunity.”