Why Patients Benefit from Paying for Hospital Parking
Paid parking is becoming a reality at hospital campuses across the country. As the healthcare market battles shrinking margins due to Medicare/Medicaid shortcomings and the increasing number of uninsured Americans, hospital executives are forced to evaluate every aspect of their revenue producing assets. This article will tell you why paid parking can benefit the hospital and the patient.
Current Trends: "70% of hospitals in the US with 200 beds or more do NOT charge for parking."
The current operational trend in the hospital community is to trim costs and capitalize on operational efficiencies. Hospital CEO’s have come to realize that a large portion of their real estate portfolio consists of either vertical parking structures or surface parking lots. These structures and lots are necessary to allow a hospital to accommodate vehicles for patients, visitors, employees, physicians, and the many other user groups that visit their facility daily. Nearly 70% of hospitals in the US with 200 beds or more do not charge for parking, and revenue from patient services are only generating net margins of 1% - 5%. However, parking revenues can return 50%-65% net margins and can provide a much-needed cushion for an ailing budget.
"The belief that charging patients and visitors for parking will cause them to take their business elsewhere, just isn't true."
The belief that charging patients and visitors for parking will cause them to take their business elsewhere, just isn't true. There are countless examples of hospitals in small, medium and large markets that charge for parking and have continued to increase census levels and grow revenue. An Insurance provider, physician referral and location have more influence on a patient's choice on a hospital than parking.
"61% of Children’s Hospitals, with 200 beds or more, garner revenue from paid parking."
Children’s Hospitals across the US have incorporated paid parking into their operations. Based on the 2016 HCRIS data, 61% of Children’s Hospitals with 200 beds or more garner revenue from paid parking. The Children’s Hospitals in the HCRIS data reported $9,456,137.00 which provided an additional $6,048.95 per staffed bed. Revenue of this proportion can assist a hospital in adding much needed technology upgrades, new specialty equipment, or increase pay levels for valuable staff members. It’s not all a question of revenue though.
There are numerous advantages from paid parking outside of creating revenue. Anyone that has ever circled a hospital parking deck can attest that many hospitals have supply and demand issues when it comes to parking availability. Hospitals are forced to expand vertically with expensive covered parking garages. Many hospitals dive into these projects without investigating if controlling the current inventory could provide the necessary supply.
"If done right, paid parking is a win-win for the hospital, staff, and most importantly, patients."
As the margins of healthcare facilities continue to tighten, hospital executives are charged with the responsibility of cutting expense levels. Many of our healthcare facilities across the US are operating at insufficient FTE levels. As our population median age increases it becomes essential that medical facilities maintain appropriate staffing levels. If done right, paid parking is a win-win for the hospital, staff, and most importantly, patients.