administrators ask: "Why
should we consider a fitness center?" and "Why do we need one
Just a few years
ago, a hospital-owned fitness center was a daring concept.
Few middle-aged and older adults exercised, and many commercial
health clubs were already open.
| Yet the
hospital fitness industry has grown to over 1,800,000
members in 700 communities by addressing a previously unmet
need - fitness for people over 40. Many in this age group feel
well-served by commercial clubs, but even more do not. Only
a hospital has the skills, resources, and public trust to serve
At the same time, expanding the continuum
of care requires a more positive, less costly venue than the
As these two needs intensify, the demand for hospital fitness centers
continues to grow. And there are strong financial, clinical, and public
service incentives for hospitals to meet this demand.
FITNESS CENTER OBJECTIVES
At most large medical fitness centers, over 80% of revenue and profit
come from self-pay membership fees and wellness services. In a managed
care environment, this revenue stream can be much more stable than
Over 85% of large new centers generate
positive cash flow within three years. Earning over $500,000 annually
is an attainable goal. Today hospitals need these funds to support
the many activities that cannot support themselves. Most importantly
these profits accrue:
- Without competing
- Without oversight
by a third-party payer
- Usually exempt from
Medically-based fitness centers enhance clinical services by extending
the continuum of care through an array of rehabilitation and tertiary
prevention programs. With proper planning and management, these centers:
- Become outpatient
care magnets, producing ongoing referrals to the hospital.
- Improve facilities
for physical, occupational and aquatic therapy, bringing more
referrals and greater patient compliance.
- Augment cardiac,
orthopedic and other rehabilitation programs, even assisting in
cancer and stroke recovery.
Because of the large market of
well people looking to stay well, hospitals with fitness centers experience
significant gains in awareness and image in the community. Everyone
benefits when people view the hospital as a place to go to stay well,
not just a place to go when they are sick.
Hospital fitness centers expand opportunities for stress testing,
cholesterol screening, weight management, diabetes and other nutritional
counseling, and pre- and post-natal exercise. For populations at
risk, a wide range of prevention activities has been successful.
Programming for healthy seniors, as
well as arthritis and osteoporosis sufferers, leads to many more
years of active and independent life.
Before deciding that a fitness center
is right for your hospital, we suggest you consider these
Questions? Please send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
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