By Bryan Starr, President & CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber | Destination Irvine
Published in the Orange County Business Journal - Aug. 1, 2022
According to a Statista report, the United States spends nearly 17% of its GDP on healthcare—more than any other country. The United States spends around $10,600 per capita on health expenditure, the highest in the world, followed by Switzerland and Norway. The 2021 Global Health Security Index ranked the United States as the healthiest country in the world, in large part because of its enormous capacity to research and respond to the pandemic.
In California, healthcare represents 19.7% of all GDP, with $12,530 per capita spending. According to the California Health Care Foundation, hospital care was the largest spending category in 2020, 11% ahead of physician and clinical services, and well beyond prescription drugs, dental, nursing care facilities, and other services. Total 2020 spending on healthcare in the state was $4.1 trillion. In 2019, 1.7 million people reportedly worked in California’s healthcare industry.
Jobs EQ data indicates in Q4 2021 Irvine’s healthcare sector provided nearly 300,000 high-paying jobs. That number is rapidly being eclipsed as billions of dollars in investment and expansion in Irvine’s emergent direct patient care hub is producing thousands of additional high-paying jobs for the region.
Home to six healthcare system giants, Irvine offers convenient access to comprehensive leading-edge services from everyday care to advanced treatment. Here is some of the incredible innovation and expansion occurring in Irvine’s healthcare sector.
The University of California, Irvine and UCI Health have invested in a $1.3 billion medical complex on the university campus in Irvine. Plans include a 144-bed acute care hospital with an emergency room and the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and Ambulatory Care building, which is scheduled to open in 2025. The Joe C. Wen & Family Center for Advanced Care and its Center for Children’s Health expects to see its first patients in early 2023. The complex will connect with the UCI Health primary care network throughout Orange County, creating the region’s only health system supported by one of the nation’s premier academic research institutions. The contribution of these projects to the local economy includes the creation of approximately 2,500 healthcare and construction jobs.
UCI Health and Kindred Rehabilitation Services, a business unit of LifePoint Health, will jointly construct and operate a 52-bed, 68,000-square-foot inpatient rehabilitation hospital on Von Karman Ave., in Irvine. The hospital, expected to open in 2025, will employ up to 200 people.
City of Hope
City of Hope, one of the largest cancer research and treatment organizations in the United States, is opening its visionary comprehensive cancer center in Orange County, creating a national model for delivering breakthrough research and pioneering treatments.
City of Hope Orange County Lennar Foundation Cancer Center, the centerpiece of a $1B Irvine campus dedicated to preventing, treating and curing cancer is the most advanced cancer center in the county. Patients will have access to City of Hope’s more than 575 physicians and 1,000 researchers and scientists who only focus on cancer, nearly 1,000 innovative Phase 1-3 clinical trials and to the most leading-edge technology. It will be connected to the county’s only specialty cancer hospital, opening in 2025.
The Providence Health Center near the Irvine Spectrum provides on-site family medicine and internal medicine physicians along with dedicated neurologists who are using cutting-edge treatments and preventative services. Expected for early 2023, Providence will open a new clinic in Irvine at The Market Place on Jamboree Road, providing pediatric and adult primary care, obstetrics and gynecology, dermatology, and urgent care services. The clinic will be a hub to connect Irvine residents with convenient access to healthcare. Serving South Orange County, plans are underway for Providence Mission Hospital to open a 17,000-square-foot multi-specialty health center in San Clemente and a similar center in Rancho Mission Viejo.
MemorialCare Medical Group is bringing even greater access to health care in the heart of Irvine – one of the most populated cities in Orange County – with the approximate 10,000-square-foot expansion of a new health center in the University Park Center. The site, expected to open in fall 2022, will offer comprehensive primary care services with supportive ancillaries. MemorialCare has several primary and urgent centers in Irvine.
Kaiser Permanente Orange County is expanding its primary care services at its Barranca Medical Offices in Irvine, which includes creating collaborative care areas that leverage new technologies. Kaiser Permanente Irvine Medical Center will expand upon its nationally recognized total joint replacement program in Orthopedics. Infrastructure upgrades are currently in design for operating rooms as well as the imaging department to include technology improvements and equipment. In addition, to better serve its members in South Orange County, Kaiser Permanente is finalizing construction plans on a new medical office building in Aliso Viejo.
Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian is building new physician-led specialized institutes that will expand its model of world-class health care delivery. As the highest ranked hospital in Orange County by U.S. News & World Report, the Irvine campus will continue to grow Hoag's reach and become a prominent comprehensive center for advanced medical treatment, research and innovation.
The other part of the equation for Irvine’s success in the healthcare landscape is the strong presence of verticals that support and round out the city’s healthcare ecosystem. Irvine includes a range of medical technology clusters from biotechnology, and pharmaceuticals to medical devices, medical diagnostics, ophthalmology, and many other specialty sectors.
Medical technology companies with a headquarters or presence in Irvine, include Edwards Lifesciences, a transcatheter heart valve replacement maker, which employs about 5,000 individuals at its Irvine headquarters and more than 15,000 globally, with a reported $4.4B revenue in 2020 according to Craft, a data intelligence company. Masimo, the maker of noninvasive patient monitoring technologies, has nearly 3,000 employees at its Irvine headquarters and about 8,000 employees around the world and with a reported $1.24B in revenue in 2021. Maker of vascular disease therapeutics, Endologix, has about 200 employees in Irvine and 500 globally. Cathworks, focused on cardiovascular disease diagnostics and treatment, has about 100 employees globally and expects this year to double its current 35 employees that are located at its U.S. headquarters in Irvine. Its global executive leadership comes from leading Medtech companies like Edwards, Boston Scientific, and Johnson & Johnson. Along with J&J, global leaders in pharmaceuticals that have a presence in Irvine include AbbVie (Allergan), Bristol Myers Squibb, and Teva Pharmaceuticals.
Partnerships are increasingly important as markets grow and evolve, new technologies emerge, and consumer preferences shift. The Greater Irvine Chamber recently brought together industry leaders from healthcare, and county and state agencies to discuss partnerships to identify and respond to growth opportunities.
With its strong direct patient care, life science, biopharmaceutical, and medical device sectors, and a collaborative network of industry leaders, Irvine has a leading role in the region’s healthcare inventory and economy contributing to an unsurpassed quality of life for residents and visitors alike.