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The ABCs of MOBs and Other Healthcare Assets

By Lorie Damon, Managing Director

shutterstock_209942605-doc hoding stethoASCs, OIG, TJC, FSED, LTACH… What do these mean? Healthcare real estate is full of acronyms. Some describe the types of tenants you might find within a medical office building (MOB). Others abbreviate regulations or regulatory bodies, and others are shorthand for the assets themselves. If all these acronyms spell confusion (and possibly a headache), here’s a primer to help you navigate the world of healthcare real estate.

  • MOB: Medical office building, one of the core types of healthcare real estate assets, generally found on or near hospital campuses, though proximity to a hospital campus is not a requirement. Medical office buildings house physician practices, imaging (x-rays, CT scans) as well as other diagnostic tools and additional healthcare services required by patients.
  • ASC: Ambulatory Surgery Centers can be found as tenants in MOBs or as stand-alone assets. These types of facilities are used for same-day surgeries and procedures such as colonoscopies and some orthopedic procedures. ASC tenants can include hospital departments, physician practices or joint ventures between the two and will include medical gases and anesthesiology capabilities.
  • UCC: Urgent Care Centers are popping up everywhere, including in traditional shopping centers. These centers provide care for non-emergent conditions, such as colds, flu, sprains and fractures.
  • FSED: Free Standing Emergency Departments are essentially emergency rooms minus a hospital. These stand-alone ERs provide immediate care for life-threatening conditions and are licensed as emergency rooms. They are staffed by trained physicians and are often affiliated with a nearby hospital or health system. Patients are treated and stabilized in the FSED and then transported to the appropriate care facility for additional treatment or monitoring.
  • TJC: The Joint Commission, formerly known as the Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Hospital Organizations (JCAHO), is one of the primary regulatory bodies responsible for assuring that hospitals and healthcare systems meet legislative requirements for delivering care. TJC accreditation is comprehensive, and the agency’s reviews extend to the facilities where care is delivered, including MOBs. MOB property managers may encounter TJC requirements if they have tenants such as hospital departments that operate under the hospital’s Medicare/Medicaid license.
  • OIG: Office of the Inspector General [of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the agency that houses the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS)] includes the attorneys and legislative teams responsible for enforcing regulations associated with Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, including assuring compliance with Anti-Kickback Statutes (AKS) and Stark legislation.
  • LTACH: Long-Term Acute Care Hospitals are licensed hospitals designed and staffed to provide (as the name suggests) long-term acute care for patients who are very, very ill and require 24/7 access to physicians, nurses and other specialists. Patients are often discharged from Short-Term Acute Care Hospitals (STACH), the hospitals where patients go to have babies or be treated for appendectomies, heart attacks, and similar conditions, to LTACHs.

Still feel like healthcare real estate is “alphabet soup?” For a more comprehensive and detailed list of healthcare real estate acronyms, and the assets, regulations and tenancies they describe, please reach out to Cushman & Wakefield’s Healthcare Practice Group (you guessed it: HCPG) and connect with other Cushman & Wakefield asset services professionals and resources to help you speak the language of healthcare real estate. For more information, contact Lorie Damon, HCPG leader, at lorie.damon@cushwake.com, or Jane DiCampo, HCPG marketing coordinator at jane.dicampo@cushwake.com.


Damon, Lorie_NewHeadshotLorie leads Cushman & Wakefield’s Healthcare Practice Group, working with team members and clients across the country to promote leadership and best practices in leasing and asset management across the continuum of healthcare assets.

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