Physicians Burdened by Rising Real Estate Costs
Rising real estate costs for medical offices in Southern California have forced physicians to increase patient fees and, in some cases, move elsewhere, the Los Angeles Times reports.
David Aizuss, president of the Los Angeles County Medical Association, said the rising real estate costs, along with rising costs for labor and medical supplies, are forcing physicians to retire early, stop taking new patients or leave the state to practice in a less expensive location.
He added that the impact is felt hardest on the majority of physicians who rely on reimbursements from insurers and are contracted to charge fixed prices for treatment.
The rising real estate costs also have resulted in overcrowded physician offices with few vacancies, according to the Times.
Robert Held, a developer of medical properties, said, "Almost every major medical building that I know of is full -- with waiting lists." He added, "The market is as hot as it can be."
Aizuss said, "There will be an increasing shortage of physicians." He added that physicians who remain in Southern California "can drop their insurance contracts and raise fees" (Vincent, Los Angeles Times, 9/6).