Lakeview expanding to fit evolving health care needs

  • Article by: JANET MOORE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 21, 2013 - 3:44 PM

An aging population and the Affordable Care Act are changing needs and uses of medical facilities.

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Bob Wilcox, left, administrator of the Lakeview Clinic, and Dr. Donald Somers, president of the clinic system in the Waconia clinic this month. Lake­view’s new clinic building in Chaska is slated to open next March.

Photo: JOEL KOYAMA, Star Tribune

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As the delivery of health care evolves in the wake of the Affordable Care Act, and as baby boomers age, the demand for medical office space and the way it’s used has changed.

No one knows this better than Lakeview Clinic Ltd., a for-profit medical care company with clinics in Chaska, Waconia, Norwood and Watertown. In recent years, its Chaska clinic on Hundertmark Road has been crunched for space, so plans are in the works to build a $10 million facility in the fast-growing southwestern suburb.

Lakeview’s new four-story, 55,000-square-foot office building, which overlooks Lake Grace at the southwest corner of Pioneer Trail and Hwy. 41, is slated to open in March 2014.

“Our patient encounters have been growing most rapidly at Chaska, in terms of the number of patients seen per day, and new patient counts,” said Dr. Donald Somers, president of Lakeview Clinic. “Many people from Chaska will drive to Waconia if they can’t get an appointment in Chaska.”

The new facility will more than double the amount of space used by Lakeview, which expects to occupy about 11,000 square feet and lease the rest to medical specialists and other health-related users. Lakeview will use the space for family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology and general surgery. And it will have the capability for comprehensive laboratory and imaging services, too, said Bob Wilcox, clinic administrator.

The Affordable Care Act calls for doctors and clinics/hospitals to pool resources to reduce spending and improve the quality of care, changing the way health care real estate is configured, according to a recent report released by Cushman & Wakefield/NorthMarq, a Bloomington-based real estate firm.

“Strategically located outpatient facilities are one way to enhance the delivery of care,” the report said. “As a result, health care systems are trending toward strategic positioning in off-campus suburban markets,” the report said, noting demand for medical office space should remain strong through this year.

The existing Chaska clinic already has 46 physicians on staff, but with the new facility that number could increase by 50 percent, Wilcox said.

When contemplating the project, Lakeview officials turned to a known quantity in the design/build field — Spring Lake-based Yanik Cos., which specializes in medical facilities, especially in rural and exurban areas. Yanik and Lakeview have partnered on four previous construction projects.

“It’s an intriguing challenge to develop a facility that will stand the test of time, especially in a constantly changing industry like health care, ” said Chester Yanik, president of Yanik Cos.

As more people gain access to health care through the Affordable Care Act, there “will be a need out there for more bricks-and-mortar facilities,” Yanik added. “That’s the challenge we’re facing.”

 

Janet Moore • 612-673-7752

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