Panelists Weigh in on the ACA's Impact on Healthcare Design and Construction

November Luncheon

Panelists at our November luncheon program were optimistic about the changes happening in the healthcare industry as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). About 100 people attended the SMPS Atlanta/AIA Atlanta Academy on Architecture for Health of Georgia joint program held on Nov. 20. The program focused on the impact of the ACA on healthcare design and construction.

A common thread throughout the program was that cash strapped hospitals and healthcare providers are going to be looking for ways to do more with less. Flexibility will be a key component to successful design and construction projects in the healthcare industry for the foreseeable future.

Panelist Kirk Wilson, President of KMBHealthcare, explained that even prior to ACA, a trend of larger health systems acquiring smaller practices was beginning to take shape. As ACA continues to roll out, Wilson predicts an acceleration of this trend, meaning there will be more primary care physician and specialist practices housed in larger hospital settings. This means facilities – specifically those focusing on ambulatory care – will need to be designed, constructed or renovated for multiple uses, providing the ability to tailor care to the patient’s precise needs and eliminate a “one size fits all” approach.

Panelist Shannon Sale, Vice President of Planning and Business Development for Grady Health System, echoed that sentiment, saying it’s important to “be smart about the construction of healthcare facilities.” She noted that in addition to the layout and makeup of healthcare facilities, the ACA is also restructuring how healthcare professionals educate patients and is placing a high priority on ensuring that patients have access to the right type of care.

When it comes to the actual design, construction and management of healthcare projects, panelist John Healy, Senior Vice President of Jones Lang LaSalle, said there are four important driving factors moving forward:

  1. Flexibility – Not only is there a need for flexibility within individual projects, but the structure within health systems is changing and becoming more flexible.
  2. Efficiencies – Projects will include the need for improved energy consumption, efficiencies of staff, better project planning – the full gamut of efficiencies for a project will be assessed.
  3. Smaller Projects – Tight capital budgets are causing projects to be segmented into smaller chunks and the projects themselves are becoming smaller.
  4. Price – Due to those tight budgets, pricing is very competitive and consultants will have to work within that cost constrained environment in order to be successful.

Program Moderator and Executive Vice President of the Georgia Hospital Association Glenn Pearson noted that there are still unanswered questions regarding how the effects of ACA on the design and construction industry. When he asked the panelists their overall opinion on the changes that will affect them over the coming year, he was met with optimism. Although they each expressed that there will be challenges, the panelists were hopeful that the general direction for the industry will be positive.


Post by: Brittany Luiz, Marketing Coordinator, GLEEDS

SMPS Marketing Communication Awards


About the Marketing Communications Awards

The SMPS Marketing Communications Awards Program is the longest-standing, most prestigious awards competition that recognizes excellence in marketing communications produced by professional services firms in the design and building industry.The program provides an unparalleled opportunity for professionals to showcase their best marketing practices and to educate the industry about the critical role of marketing in a successful firm.

This competition is open to SMPS members and nonmembers employed in US and international firms. Marketing communication projects completed between January 2012 and December 2013 will be accepted for the 2014 competition.

All finalists are honored on stage and with an award during the SMPS Awards Gala on July 31 in San Antonio, held in conjunction with Build Business, the Society's annual conference. Winning entries will be on display throughout the conference, July 30 – August 1, for the benefit of the attendees.

In addition, winning firms are promoted to industry media and building industry associations, in SMPS publications includingMarketer, on the SMPS Web site and social media channels, and in DesignIntelligence’s Almanac of Architecture & Design.

For More Information

Contact Molly Dall’Erta at SMPS Headquarters at 800.292.7677, x231, or [email protected].


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