Why the Orlando area is a hotbed for freestanding ERs

There are 11 freestanding emergency rooms projects in the works in the Orlando, Fla., area, the Orlando Business Journal reported Feb. 7. 

Central Florida currently has about 24 freestanding emergency rooms, up from five in 2018, according to the report. 

Matthew Weinberger, vice president of healthcare and office brokerage services for Central and North Florida with Lee & Associates Central Florida, told the news outlet the boom is due to population growth and increased demand for healthcare services.

Mr. Weinberger also said freestanding ERs can serve as "planting a flag" in a region in which a health system wants to boost its presence, according to the report. 

There are also several local examples of freestanding ERs being converted into full hospitals, the report said. Those include Orlando Health Horizon West Hospital in Winter Garden, AdventHealth Winter Garden, HCA Florida Oviedo Medical Center and Halifax Health UF Health-Medical Center of Deltona.

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