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Building the infrastructure for the Affordable Care Act

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Posted: Friday, August 9, 2013 12:00 am

With the Affordable Care Act (ACA) scheduled for implementation in early 2014, there is a lot of talk about the insurance aspect of the bill but little is being said about where the newly insured will go for medical treatment.

BarkerMorrissey Contracting, 3619 E Speedway, is doing a lot of talking and preparing for the surge in the construction of medical facilities throughout Tucson and Southern Arizona.

With a combined 50 years of experience, BarkerMorrissey is confident that it will be at the center of this new wave of construction especially since they do not utilize the older logic of building, which is to design, bid, then build.

Oftentimes this method of building is more costly and increases the time it takes to complete a project.

“One of the drawbacks is the changes that are made after the drawings and bid is complete — that is the most expensive time to make changes,” said Brian Barker, vice president of BarkerMorrissey.

So BarkerMorrissey gets involved in the drawing or designing aspect of a project to give its client an accurate, up-front picture of what the costs will be. This is called Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) or Construction Management at Risk.

This team approach — having the architect, contractor and owner working together —is not only cost-effective but also speeds up the process of building, explained Barker.

“It really is a team approach,” said Barker. “It’s a win-win for everybody.”

According to Barker, it can take up to 24 months to build out a project using the traditional design, bid, build.

But BarkerMorrissey can pull permits and begin the initial demoing or construction process within six to eight weeks.

“The time saved is huge,” said Barker, “It’s a big, big difference.”

BarkerMorrissey is focusing its efforts primarily in Tucson and Southern Arizona since it estimates more clinics being built in rural areas similar to a CVS or a Walgreens and less like a hospital setting.

“We just want to be prepared,” said Barker. “We can compress (building) schedules considerably by picking the right team and working as a team.”

BarkerMorrissey not gets only involved early on in the planning of a new or repurposed project but is also able to make changes to a building while the site is still open for business.

For a contractor to be able to do this for a medical facility takes an extra level of caution, explains BarkerMorrissey.

With 17 percent of Arizonans uninsured, the number of medical facilities that will need to be built is unknown.

“People are still trying to understand the Affordable Care Act and what it means,” said Keven Morrissey, president of BarkerMorrissey. “We are trying to get in front of that curve and help clients as they see fit.”

The company is currently preparing for what the ACA will mean for the construction industry.

“It’s a brand new concept,” said Morrissey, “It’s exciting.”

For more information about BarkerMorrissey Contracting, visit their website at or call 520-323-3831.

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