EXPANSIONS Hospital systems invest billions to keep pace with area population boom
2022 HEALTH CARE EDITION
In the coming years, hospital systems and health care providers in Central Texas will invest almost $2.5 billion to grow their physical footprint by building new facilities or expanding existing ones. Creating capacity
637 NEW HOSPITAL BEDS have been announced or are under construction at 12 hospitals across three health care systems.
BY CLAIRE SHOOP
Central Texas is on pace to gain more than 600 hospital beds in the next three years, and add two new hospitals in growing suburban areas, includ- ing Kyle and Leander. Combined, three major health care systems are investing almost $2.5 billion in physical infrastruc- ture to increase access to services and meet the needs of the growing region. Hospital ocials said the additional space is neces- sary to care for the population of a rapidly expanding region, with Williamson and Hays counties ranking as some of the fastest growing in the nation. Andy Davis, the CEO for Ascension Texas, a major health care system that includes Ascension Seton and Dell Children’s, said based on projections, within 10 years the metro area will have a 1,200-bed decit. “The great thing about Central Texas is the community is growing in every direction, and so it presents a unique opportunity for us to make sure that we’re doing all we can to be present in a way that keeps families close to home and together,” he said. Bringing care to the community One hospital system making a major investment in physical infrastructure is St. David’s HealthCare, which announced in February an expansion plan totaling nearly $1 billion. The plan includes opening new hospitals in 2024 in Kyle and Leander—two cities St. David’s Presi- dent and CEO David Hustutler characterized as “rapidly growing.” Because building and expanding hospitals takes several years, Hustutler said St. David’s tries to forecast where the demand for health care services will be. “We know if we started today, there will be a lot more growth in these communities over the next two and half years as we’re trying to get this capacity online, so we have to start early in antic- ipation of what it’ll look like over that horizon,” Hustutler said. In the next 20 years, the population of Hays and Williamson counties is projected to approximately double to 500,000 and 1.2 million residents, respec- tively, according to data compiled by the Austin Chamber of Commerce. Travis County is expected to total 1.8 million residents by 2040. Davis said this growth was top of mind when Ascension Texas completed expansions at Ascen- sion Seton Williamson Hospital in Round Rock and Ascension Seton Hays Hospital in Kyle in February. Health care leaders also cited a desire to further develop their services and care for underserved populations as other reasons to grow. Dr. Rob Watson, chief medical ocer for the Greater Austin region at Baylor Scott & White Health,
Ascension Texas 160 BEDS AT 3 FACILITIES
St. David’s HealthCare 425 BEDS AT 8 FACILITIES
Texas Children’s Hospital 52 BEDS AT 1 FACILITY
By 2032, Central Texas is projected to need an additional 1,200 HOSPITAL BEDS.
St. David’s announced a $953 million expansion plan that includes building three new hospitals and expanding capacity at ve. Two completed projects are not listed.
NEW CONSTRUCTION BEHAVIORAL HEALTH HOSPITAL
LEANDER HOSPITAL Number of new beds: 34 Size: 150,000 sq. ft. Cost: $142.5 million Estimated completion: 2024
Number of new beds: 80 Size: 63,000 sq. ft. Cost: $33.8 million Estimated completion: 2024
Number of new beds: 34 Size: 160,000 sq. ft. Cost: $185 million Estimated completion: 2024
183A TOLL LEANDER
*LAND NOT BOUGHT YET
said two of the three new hospitals it opened in 2019 were located in cities that previously did not have a hospital—Buda and Pugerville. “We look for opportunities where we think there are growing health care needs that are not being met in the community,” Watson said. Scaling challenges Rapidly scaling up physical footprints poses a number of challenges to health care systems, namely stang, ocials said. The new Texas Children’s Hospital alone is expected to require 700-800 employees, and the Kyle and Leander St. David’s hospitals will each create 200 jobs. Statewide, health care workers are already in high demand and short supply as many left the workforce during the pandemic. From 2018-32, demand for nurses in Central Texas is projected to grow by 45.9% while the supply is expected to increase by 38.1%, creating a decit of 8,424 nurses across a 30-county region, according to Texas Department of State Health Services data. “I think we are all out there trying to gure out how do we grow in Central Texas—how do we get the resources and the sta we need to be able to provide for patients in our communities?” Watson said.
St. David’s Medical Center Number of new beds: 35 Space added: 18,502 sq. ft. Cost: $43 million Estimated completion: 2023 St. David’s North Austin Medical Center Number of new beds: 32 Space added: 21,214 sq. ft. Cost: $145.9 million (includes the Women’s Center of Texas project) Estimated completion: 2022 St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center Number of new beds: 34 Space added: 63,194 sq. ft.
Cost: $53.1 million Estimated completion: N/A St. David’s South Austin Medical Center Number of new beds: 54 Space added: 194,290 sq. ft. Cost: $168 million Estimated completion: 2024 Women’s Center of Texas at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center Number of new beds: 122 Space added: 166,369 sq. ft. Cost: $145.9 million (includes North Austin Medical Center project) Estimated completion: 2023
SOURCES: ASCENSION TEXAS, ST. DAVID’S HEALTHCARE, TEXAS CHILDREN’S HOSPITALCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
SAN MARCOS BUDA KYLE EDITION • JUNE 2022
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