Nashville Is The Health Services Capital of the Usa!
Nashville is considered the health services capital of the United States because Middle Tennessee is a health ecosystem like no other. Nashville by far has greater reach and touches more patients through health service delivery than any city in the United States.
One company (HCA) in Nashville has 35 million patient encounters annually, more than any health system in America. Another (HealthStream) virtually educates a quarter of a million unique healthcare professionals—every 24-hours! Yet another (Change Healthcare), one of the largest healthcare IT companies in the country, every year touches 1 in 3 patient records.
The Nashville health service ecosystem had its origins 53 years ago when a young physician Tommy Frist and his father came up with the then-novel idea of linking hospitals to achieve economies of scale and accessing public markets for capital. They, along with Jack Massey, founded Hospital Corporation of America (HCA). Since that time a continually growing stream of health entrepreneurs and managers have operated out of Middle Tennessee, where the unique Nashville healthcare culture actively and proudly promotes entrepreneurship, mentorship, and sharing ideas and lessons learned along the way.
Nashville began as a “hospital town.” Most of the original investor-owned hospital chain systems either were founded in or transferred their headquarters to Nashville. Indeed, Nashville companies today own or manage 15% of all hospital beds in the country and approximately half of all investor-owned beds. HCA, with 49,000 beds, has the nation’s largest health system of doctors (47,000 practicing in HCA facilities, along with 98,000 registered nurses) and is nearly twice as big as the next system (Ascension, with 28,000 beds). Forbes (2020) ranks HCA as the largest non-MedTech healthcare company in the world.
Today Nashville is home to more than 500 healthcare companies that impact the healthcare landscape locally, nationally, and internationally. Nashville is the corporate headquarters to 17 publicly traded healthcare companies. The Middle Tennessee healthcare industry generates globally more than $92 billion in revenue and more than 570,000 jobs. In addition, Nashville is home to nearly 400 professional service firms (accounting, architecture, finance, legal) that provide health industry expertise to clients in all 50 states.
And the culture of Nashville, while healthily competitive with such a high concentration of health businesses, is also proudly collaborative—demonstrated by the 25-year-old Nashville Health Care Council, which forges collegial relationships, fosters dialogues, and mentors rising leaders. The brainchild of some of Nashville’s original, forward-thinking healthcare innovators, the Council is foundational to the community’s expansive growth, bringing together more than 300 member companies headquartered in and outside of Tennessee for dozens of events, study trips, and courses attended by nearly 7,000 annually. The cumulative pooling of health-related talent produces a compounding effect: an ever-stronger center of gravity to attract even more healthcare and technology expertise, and a force multiplier for additional businesses to be established. As Nashville matures, so does its healthcare industry!