It is easy to take for granted the multiple Starbucks, McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts that dot the streets of Manhattan. But have you realized that healthcare is increasingly becoming franchised as well?

Manhattan’s Murray Hill neighborhood, for example, is known as “medical mile.” It is home to 40 medical centers and outpatient clinics run by New York University (NYU) and others that offer services from physical therapy to voice repair to plastic surgery. The lure of the residential New York neighborhood has increased the demand for the limited supply of medical spaces in the area. This is just a microcosm of what is happening in large cities.

The healthcare industry, once seen as fragmented, is strategically pulling together its resources to integrate with regional and national healthcare systems.

CBRE, a global commercial real estate platform that has offers leasing, selling, and consultancy services, has managed to add larger healthcare clients this past quarter for the same reason. Boston-based Brigham Women’s Hospital and New York-based Mount Sinai Health System have signed contracts with the firm to expand their bases as well as maintain their properties. These were just two of the sixteen new healthcare contracts the firm signed in the third quarter.

Integrating existing systems within their brand or affiliating with a network of hospitals within an area gives both private practices and larger brands a way to stay competitive, access to different patients and cut overhead costs.

The industry has been slowly accommodating these shifts since Obamacare was introduced. The Affordable Care Act led to nearly 20 million previously uninsured people getting health insurance, President Obama said in a report earlier this year. This has caused surge in demand for services like preventative health care rather than remedial has given rise to more outpatient facilities.
Such facilities are more specialized and not located in labyrinths of large bustling hospitals. They are cheaper than full fledged hospitals for health care providers. They’re also designed taking into account patient experience feedback, with swanky hotel-like lobbies and personalized interaction. This makes them accessible and less intimidating to patients. This, along with the fact that more aging baby boomers are entering the market, has led to accelerated demand not just for real estate in the healthcare sector, but a platform of real estate services.