Healthcare Providers' Capital Spending Growth Expected to Dip in 2014

Rene Letourneau, for HealthLeaders Media , November 25, 2013

As health systems evaluate their existing brick and mortar assets versus their emerging needs, capital dollars are likely to be invested in outpatient facilities, Gilbert says.

Richard Rothberger

Richard Rothberger (left), corporate executive vice president and CFO for Scripps Health in San Diego; and Michael Ugwueke, executive vice president and COO for Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare in Memphis share a laugh at the HealthLeaders Media 2013 CEO Exchange

"There is a realization that we have an overcapacity on the inpatient side," he says, adding that as health systems begin to increase focus on ambulatory settings, they will think more about the setup and location of their physicians' offices.

Richard Rothberger, corporate executive vice president and CFO at Scripps Health, a five-hospital system based in San Diego, agrees that it is important to reevaluate real estate strategies and, in a recent conversation about capital spending plans, told me he sees major growth opportunities in the outpatient sector.

Scripps has plans to build an 85,000 square foot multi-specialty site in Oceanside, CA—a community it doesn't currently serve. The building is scheduled to open in 2016 at a cost of $60 to $75 million, Rothberger says.

"We are trying to feed our large infrastructure on our hospital campuses," he says. "We are also trying to reach into the community so people don't have to travel so much. We want to give them the opportunity to see their practitioners closer to home."

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