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Health Care Reform May Spark Demand For Facilities, Personnel
The reform will spark increased demand for medical office space and educational facilities to train medical personnel, according to the group.
Beginning in 2014, health insurance will be required for all U.S. citizens, creating some 30 million new health care consumers. The newly insured, according to demographic analyses, are likely to be less wealthy than average, younger, and found in areas of high population growth where living costs are lower and jobs are more plentiful.
Therefore, the Sunbelt — particularly Texas and southern California — is expected to experience the greatest growth in demand for health care services and space, according to the group.
There are other factors, however, that affect future demand for health care services. Some parts of the U.S. have higher proportions of people and facilities already devoted to health care delivery and education — “eds and meds.” For example, New York may have up to 2.8 million currently uninsured individuals, but it also has a higher-than-average workforce dedicated to health care.
For this reason, analysts expect New York to experience less strain on its existing system. In Boston, Philadelphia, and other cities, abundant health care facilities combined with a lower proportion of currently uninsured residents will translate to lower demand for new medical facilities, according to the group.
The fast-growing areas of Texas and California, however, not only have the highest proportions of uninsured citizens but also have the lowest proportions of health care workers and personnel. As a result, the group expects these areas to face the most acute needs for new health care facilities and personnel.