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'The Business of Health Care Report'

Partnering for Health: Private Answers to a Public Need
03/14/2005

I’m Doug Hawthorne, president and CEO of Texas Health Resources, with “The Business of Health Care Report.”

The local health care sector is the largest and fastest-growing industry in the region. Last year, medical employment in North Texas totaled more than 250,000 workers with payroll in excess of $6.5 billion. Texas Health Resources, alone, employs more than 17,000 health care workers across our 13-hospital system.

The reasons for this are clear: A rapidly growing – and aging – population needs more health care.

However, as our area grows, so does its number of uninsured. This places more pressure than ever on hospitals to perform a precarious balancing act between growing to meet community needs and maintaining financial viability – especially when more people who receive hospital care cannot pay.

Meanwhile, businesses – which historically have subsidized health insurance for their employees – are facing increasing challenges in funding health care benefits. Some have dropped employee health care benefits altogether. Many others have shifted a larger share of the cost to their workers.

Clearly, we’re all in this together.

That’s why I’ve been meeting with other business and community leaders face-to-face – listening to their concerns, sharing ideas and developing strategies to address these issues.

Maintaining a strong health care sector is a vital part North Texas’ future – but it will take all of us working together to get the job done.

For Texas Health Resources and its faith-based hospitals – Harris Methodist, Presbyterian and Arlington Memorial – I’m Doug Hawthorne.

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