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Healthcare oriented investments are often believed likely to grow as the nation ages and medical advancements continue to improve life quality and longevity. Healthcare REITs provide a way to invest in hospitals, short/long term rehabilitation facilities and senior health retirement centers. REIT exposure also often helps add yield to a portfolio.

Beyond the income stream that the REIT model usually necessitates, medical real estate is an interesting and highly specific industry, with varying niche sub-industries such as those mentioned above, amongst others. Over the last several decades, medical costs have outpaced inflation. Being the landlord to medical services could be a beneficial position, though the regulatory and insurance landscape do present highlighted risks within the American healthcare industry.

Below are recent performance numbers for the following seven publicly traded healthcare REITs: HCP, Inc. (NYSE:HCP), Health Care REIT Inc. (NYSE:HCN), LTC Properties Inc. (NYSE:LTC), National Health Investors, Inc. (NYSE:NHI), Omega Healthcare Investors, Inc. (NYSE:OHI), Senior Housing Properties Trust (NYSE:SNH) and Ventas, Inc. (NYSE:VTR). I have included their current dividend yields, as well as their 1-month, 6-month and 2011-to-date performance rates:

Healthcare can be highly dependent upon the economy and general employment rates. Individuals with healthcare coverage are far more likely to regularly see doctors. Any substantive development in healthcare nationalization could also have unforeseen positive or negative impacts upon this business.

REITs must distribute at least 90% of their taxable income in order to eliminate the need to pay income tax at the corporate level, and their dividends are generally taxed at the investor's income tax rate.

Disclaimer: This article is intended to be informative and should not be construed as personalized advice as it does not take into account your specific situation or objectives.

Source: Healthy Recent Performance By Many Healthcare REITs