What’s Next When You Have Medical Office Space to Lease?
Some medical professionals choose to lease underutilized medical office space in the building they own. Leasing can reduce overhead and help grow a practice, not to mention keep unused space from just sitting there collecting dust. Physician’s groups and healthcare businesses are buying properties that generate revenue while concentrating medical specialties under one roof.
Also, the transition to electronic medical records is leaving empty offices where paperwork and supplies were once stored. And, with new health care requirements, doctors, like so many other healthcare professionals, look for ways to reduce fixed costs.
It makes sense for both sides of the equation when you think about it. It can be sort of like taking on a professional roommate (or in this case, a building mate), so it’s important to choose wisely. Perhaps someone who would be complimentary to your practice is a smart choice.
There is the potential for problems if your renter’s patients have different needs than your patients. But if that patient population meshes with your own, the arrangement can not only provide a financial boost to the practice, but also can make it easier for patients to access recommended care.
Various state and federal anti-kickback statutes govern this, so as long as the rent paid is comparable to that for similar spaces in the area, and if there is a written, signed lease lasting at least a year you should be within compliance. The cost of the space must be at fair-market value.
Referrals offer potential to expand the patient population. Sharing building space with someone in your specialty can increase your patient load.
Getting down to logistics
When you are the owner and lease a space be sure limitations and details are clearly spelled out in your owner/tenant lease agreement. As the medical office building owner you have a right to say who may become a tenant based on a number of parameters.
Make it crystal clear if the tenant will have access to a specific room or common area 24 hours a day, seven days a week, or when? Or will use of that space be limited to predetermined hours and days? Those looking to rent space also need to consider what other services will be provided, if any. It’s important to leave no gray area for misinterpretation of these terms.
After those questions have been tackled, you can search for tenants through professional networking or advertising in local medical society newsletters. Or, if you work with realtors who specialize in medical office leasing services, you can save valuable time, focus on your practice and let them do the leg work.