The inaugural Board Room – Executive Session presented by the Vancouver Business Journal kicked off Thursday October 3. The topic was the Affordable Care Act. As usual John Mc Donagh and his staff did an excellent job in selecting both an important topic, and a top quality panel.
Being that we’ve had almost three years of discussion since passage, it feels like this may be the most anticipated, discussed, dissected, written about, articled , posted and analyzed event since Y2K, and we still have three months to go before actual implementation.
Here are the key points I took from the panel:
1. Uncertainty still reigns- and it may be 2 to 3 years before providers begin to get a handle on the impacts to their businesses. They have no idea how much increased patient load they will see, and even more concerning, how they will develop the trained personnel to provide services.
2. Small independent practices will find it ever more difficult to stay that way. Hospitals now run most medical groups in Clark County.
3. The longer term health benefits we hope for by encouraging preventative care may take a decade or longer to become recognized
4. Health care is the most regulated industry in the country and the system being implemented will discourage innovation.
5. The baby boom population will of course massively impact the system.
6. This is a great piece of business development legislation for Attorneys and CPA’s.
I am left with this thought.. the more proactive you are in taking personal responsibility on choices to live a healthy lifestyle – to limit your need for treatment by the system the better off you will be.
In regards to the ACA impact on commercial real estate? On one hand larger institutions drive the need for larger facilities and concentrated developments, as you’ve seen at Legacy Salmon Creek, and Peace Health up on Mill Plain. Those two locations will remain hubs of activity and you’ll see growth around them. Two areas to keep a eye on, Ridgefield and 192nd & Mill Plain – projected sites for the future.