By David Hendricks, San Antonio Express-News Photo: Fotolia / The economic impact of San Antonio's healthcare ...
Members of the U.K. life sciences industry delegation don dark glasses to view 3-D digital anatomy images ...
San Antonio’s well established community of healthcare and medical service providers -- including hospitals, physicians, other specialty providers and nursing homes – forms a strong foundation for the city’s $29.2 billion Healthcare and Bioscience Industry.
The industry’s health services sector accounts for $16.5 billion (or 57%) of the overall Healthcare and Bioscience Industry activity, as documented in the latest Economic Impact Study published by The Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. The study is based on 2011 data from the Texas Workforce Commission’s Covered Employment and Wages database along with credible estimates of the impact of academic and military medicine in San Antonio.
According to the study, hospitals and physicians, the two largest provider groups, contribute significantly to the San Antonio economy, more than doubling in terms of their economic impact over the 10-year period between 2001 and 2011.
Bexar County Medical Society, the first county medical society in Texas and the eighth largest in the U.S., includes more than 4,000 physicians, representing virtually every specialty and sub-specialty.
The Greater San Antonio area is home to more than 40 hospitals, including four major hospital systems, with a total of more than 5,000 staffed beds. In addition to acute care hospitals, a number of specialty hospitals and treatment centers provide care to targeted populations.
San Antonio’s hospitals continue to expand the delivery of healthcare services to the community – both in place and into rapidly growing suburban areas – while providing significant levels of uncompensated care to the uninsured population and caring for the nation’s wounded warriors.
San Antonio is served by two Level I trauma centers, serving the civilian and military populations. All hospitals in the metropolitan area are linked in real time to coordinate patient reception, staffing and resource allocation during disasters, positioning San Antonio second only to New York City in terms of disaster preparedness.
The 900-acre South Texas Medical Center (STMC) boasts the region’s largest concentration of medical treatment, research, education and related activity. Its more than 75 medical-related facilities comprise approximately $2.8 billion in infrastructure values and employ approximately 27,000 medically related personnel. Two of the city’s four major hospital systems, Methodist Healthcare System and University Health System, are based in the Medical Center, while two other major systems have a Medical Center presence. The South Texas Veterans Health Care System is also based at the Medical Center.
In-patient visits to the Medical Center totaled over 105,000 in 2011, with another 5.5 million out-patient visits. Approximately 30% of patients treated at the center’s non-government supported hospitals come from outside Bexar County, a recent study shows. Capital improvements valued at approximately $924 million are now in progress or projected over the next five years, according to the latest progress report from the San Antonio Medical Foundation.
Downtown San Antonio represents another hub of medical activity. Two major hospital systems, CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health Care and Baptist Health System, are based downtown, along with the Nix Health Care System.
Local medical facilities are keeping pace with San Antonio’s unprecedented growth into new areas such as Stone Oak, Westover Hills and Boerne. Construction of new hospitals and expansions of existing facilities are in the works, or recently completed, by all of the city's major hospital systems.
Long known as “Military City USA,” San Antonio has also become the “Home of Military Medicine” as a result of the most recent Base Realignment and Closure Process. San Antonio’s Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) has now been consolidated with the city’s former U.S. Air Force hospital, Wilford Hall Medical Center, to form the largest of two national military medical centers.
The consolidated San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC) is the only Department of Defense (DOD) medical facility with a Level I trauma center that treats civilians as well as military personnel. SAMMC is also the home of the DOD's world-renowned burn unit and the Center for the Intrepid for rehabilitating wounded warriors.
San Antonio is also home to the Medical Education and Training Command, the DOD training center for military allied health medical training and education for all branches of the service.