By: Ismael Rodriguez

South Florida’s multicultural offerings and appealing lifestyle has fueled massive population growth for decades, affecting all regional markets, which includes healthcare real estate and services, one of the most expensive niche markets in the country.

In order to accommodate this influx of patients as a result of the growing population, the region’s hospitals have turned to expansion, or merging to cut costs effectively.

Since the start of 2017, HCA Holdings, a Tennessee-based health care operator that manages 168 hospitals and 116 freestanding surgery centers across the U.S. and United Kingdom, has moved quickly in its attempts to expand in a cost-effective manner, securing approvals to build a 200-bed teaching hospital at Nova Southeastern University in Davie by moving the same number of beds from its Plantation General Hospital facility.

Meanwhile, Jackson Health System is also in the loop to expand, moving ahead with a few construction projects that include an ambulatory care center in Doral, a new rehab hospital and several urgent care centers. Doral is among those fast-growing cities in South Florida that has made a case for another hospital to accommodate its population.

Other players in the health care service industry like Cleveland Clinic Florida, Tenet Healthcare Corp., Mount Sinai Medical Center and Memorial Healthcare System are all investing anywhere between $81 million to $275 million in order to expand existing buildings, adding beds and constructing surgical towers and hotel-like villages for the elderly.

Then there are those like Baptist Health South Florida that expects merging through its acquisitions of Bethesda Health’s two hospitals in Palm Beach County, along with Fisherman’s Community Hospital in Marathon, will cover more area and meet more needs.