Already a health care capital, the Nashville area is establishing itself as a health care information technology hub.
Nashville is colloquially known as Music City, but it might just as easily be referred to as Health Care City.
The health care industry contributes more than 250,000 jobs to the local economy, with an overall economic impact of $39 billion, according to the Nashville Health Care Council. More than 400 health care companies have operations in Nashville, including 18 that are publicly traded.
The sector continues to grow and expand. For example, PathGroup, one of the largest providers of pathology and clinical lab services in the U.S., plans to invest upwards of $18 million in a consolidated lab and corporate back office in Nashville, which will create more than 200 jobs. PathGroup’s expansion is part of the reason that the health care industry is Nashville’s largest and fastest growing employer.
At the same time, the region is also establishing itself as a leader in health care information technology (HIT), with innovative companies such as Medhost, eMids Technologies and HealthStream with deep roots in the region.
“Nashville has the potential to lead the nation as a health care IT hub because of the deep health care expertise and resources found within this community,â€ says Hayley Hovious, president of the Nashville Health Care Council. “As headquarters to some of the largest and most powerful health care companies in the country, Nashville is poised to take on the challenges of the industry with the unique creative, collaborative spirit that this community is known for.â€
Health Care Hub
One of the big companies investing in the Nashville area is Amsterdam-based Philips, which recently consolidated its U.S.-based operations at a new Nashville “hub,â€ creating 800 jobs in information technology, marketing, finance and human resources, among many other areas.
By consolidating into one U.S.-based location, the company believes it can more effectively support its business by assimilating current and future acquisitions, standardizing business processes and systems to reduce redundancies, and building a strong, scalable organization for the future, says Craig M. Gruchacz, North America Leader, Global Business Services, Royal Philips. The change made sense on many levels, according to Gruchacz.
“Tennessee has a vibrant health care ecosystem, which aligns very well with our business and innovation goals,” he says. “We’ve had a longstanding presence in Franklin and Nashville, and are very well acquainted with the business environment here. We are confident that Nashville is the ideal place to help our company deliver on our vision of improving 3 billion lives a year by 2025.â€
For its part, Change Healthcare–a health care technology company that offers software, analytics, network solutions, and technology-enabled services to help create a stronger, more collaborative healthcare system–agrees that the ongoing growth of the region and its health care industry presents a great environment for realizing corporate goals.
“Nashville is attracting roughly 80 new residents each day, which helps to further build our entrepreneurial talent base and tech workforce. Nashville also has a high quality of life, good schools and is relatively affordable,” says Tommy Lewis, vice president of enterprise initiatives at Change Healthcare.
The company is investing in its future as well. Most notably, perhaps, it’s on the forefront of innovative technologies like blockchain, artificial intelligence/machine learning, cloud computing and data/analytics.
“We recently announced that our Intelligent Healthcare Networkâ„¢ with blockchain is now available,â€ says Lewis. The network, “which processes transactions covering $2 trillion dollars in claims annually, is now one of the largest to make use of blockchain technology, which can enable increased levels of transparency, greater efficiency, and lower costs. It also enables higher payment accuracy and visibility, all of which lead to better revenue management.â€
The Intelligent Healthcare Network is but one example of how a locally headquartered company is innovating in ways that promise to improve health care around the country.
“That is why Nashville is looked to, to solve great problems in health care,â€ says Hovious. “The companies here can really implement change on a large scale from their position.”