What's Driving the Trend Toward Healthcare Villages

Is a Healthcare Village in your Hospital's Future?

The trend toward healthcare villages is being astutely followed by innovative healthcare providers who recognize that the industry’s future direction will encompass addressing the entirety of population health and wellness. In concert with developers, retailers, and local governments, providers are viewing the healthcare village as a community “destination” – an integration of healthcare, commercial, educational, residential and wellness services—scaled by land size and market need.

Delivering healthcare within an integrated mixed-use/healthcare village environment, aided by “Smart City” technology, supports the safe, high-quality and cost-effective care that is in demand. Industry statistics show that hospital inpatient admission rates are continuing to decline nationally, while outpatient visits and post-acute care are on the rise. Add to this, the emergence of the “care anywhere” service delivery philosophy and it is likely that healthcare will need to become more malleable and available in non-traditional venues.

There are no geographic patterns for the adaptation of healthcare villages. Healthcare villages may be developed in both urban and suburban neighborhoods, as well as rural environments. However, the trend of healthcare villages has gained momentum in regions where reimbursement is moving more aggressively from traditional fee-for-service to value-based purchasing, as well as in markets, or states, that do not have regulatory restrictions, e.g., Certificate of Need requirements.

In all instances, though, it is market dynamics (e.g., population size/demographics, community needs, physician supply/demand, competition, etc.) that serves as the primary driving force for the planning and development of healthcare villages.


  • Baby boomers in the U.S. are approximately 78 million strong and are marching toward the age of 65 with expectations for a vibrant, active retirement.

  • Boomers represent the generation with the greatest buying power in US history.

  • As they stand poised to pay a larger proportion of their healthcare costs, baby boomers want healthcare providers that will meet their demands for excellent customer service, competitive pricing, ease-of-access, high performance and efficiency.

  • It’s not just about boomers. Healthcare villages enable a population health delivery model. The model provides retail-like access and convenience to community populations who want an expanded continuum of healthcare that includes integrated education, retail, recreations and wellness to enhance overall lifestyle.

  • The Affordable Care Act’s distributive care model aligns the economics of new healthcare investments with sustainable development opportunities. The community benefits requirement of the ACA presents a prime opportunity for the integration of healthcare and neighborhood development.

The illustration below shows the paradigm shift between the traditional healthcare real estate model and the future state healthcare village model.

Healthcare Villages Chart

As the healthcare industry continues to move through its transformation, the creation of innovative partnerships between developers, retailers and healthcare providers will enable healthcare-anchored, mixed-use (i.e., live, work, learn, play) developments that enhance providers’ triple-aim goals. The presence of healthcare villages will continue to grow, and be increasingly seen by public and private stakeholders as a key player in value-creating strategies.


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