A March 28 article in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports that landlords are now “trying to attract medical practitioners to slumping malls and strip centers” in light of rising vacancy rates at shopping centers.

The article claims that the long-held tradition of doctors, dentists, and other practitioners occupying “hospitals and traditional office buildings” may be on the decline.

In response, Maria Claire Markusen, director of development for VGM Group Inc, sees the trend as an opportunity for DME providers looking to get into the caretail/retail world.

Markusen, who will discuss this development at the Medtrade conference later this year, sees the trend as another sign that healthcare consumers are transitioning from “sickness to health and wellness.”

“My optimism grows when I see something like this [WSJ article] get published, because DME providers have access through retail to complete price transparency,” said Markusen. “Retail is all about price transparency, whereas if you go to the doctor, it’s difficult to get at that price. DME providers can take hold of what customers really want in a way that traditional healthcare operators can’t do.”

It’s something consumers want, and greater visibility in traditional retail centers is one way to increase visibility for providers seeking caretailing opportunities, Markusen added.

Markusen plans to share this message in presentations planned during VGM’s Heartland Conference, scheduled for June 12-15 in Waterloo, Iowa. She is planning another session at Medtrade, scheduled for Oct 23-26, 2017, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

More information on Medtrade, which is currently accepting proposals until Apr 27, is available here.