John Pollock John Pollock isthe CEO of Meridian.

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Wellness is the biggest trend rocking the healthcare investmentmarket today. It has become essential to bending the cost curvedown, according to healthcare investor and developerMeridian's John Pollock, andplayers in the product type should focus on wellness as a means ofmanaging population health.

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"Wellness is critical to help bend the cost curve down.Providers and payors have to embrace this mindset and focus onmanaging the health of the population," Pollock, CEO of Meridian,tells GlobeSt.com in a recent interview about market trends. "Irecently caught up with Ken Gorman, Founder and CEO of PowerWellness. It is clear that focusing on population health vis-a-viwellness centers is a trend that should continue and aligns withMeridian's mission to help 'bend the cost curve.'"

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Wellness centers have evolved tremendously, and insurancecompanies are catching on to the importance of these services."These centers have evolved over the years from small retail-basedoutlets that were referral only to what Ken calls "Gen 3 WellnessCenters" that serve upwards of 6,000 community members and areintegrated into clinical care pathways," says Pollock. "Payors arefinally realizing that wellness is less expensive than treatingchronic conditions and should be reimbursable under MedicareAdvantage, most Accountable Care Organization and/or risk-basedcontracts."

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This is an important trend for both experienced and new playersto note. The healthcare market has seen a substantial increase inthe capital players. "There has been a lot of entrants into thehealthcare real estate space over the past few years, particularlyin the value-add space, and it is disconcerting," says Pollock."Often new operators don't truly understand the dynamics of medicaloffice and are at risk because the space is nuanced, users are veryparticular, and the correct tenant ecosystem is critical to anasset's success."

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This has also pushed healthcare operators into outlying markets,and as a result, healthcare is expanding in nearly every metroacross the country. "With so much competition in the primarymarkets, some of my colleagues are seeing opportunities insecondary and tertiary markets where yields can be 100-150 bpshigher than in primary markets for similar lease terms and creditprofiles," says Pollock. "At Meridian, for our investment business,we continue to focus on primary markets and look for theopportunities that others don't see. We believe our unique lensallows us to see opportunities that leverage our core competenciesthat include entitlement prowess, a seasoned project managementbench, intense asset management and access to flexiblecapital."

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on GlobeSt.com and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.