Healthcare a Bright Spot in Phoenix Economy

Cropped SingleCare logo By | November 4, 2015

A boom in Arizona’s healthcare industry is an indication of hope for the state’s economic future — as well as more healthcare options for patients.

In early October, a panel of economists and analysts gathered to discuss Arizona’s future at the 2015 Economic Forecast breakfast. The panel noted that, while Arizona still hasn’t made a full recovery from the effects of the recession, the healthcare industry is proving to be a bright spot in the state’s economic prospects.

The Great Recession has affected life in every state, but Arizona has been suffering in particular. The state was among the hardest to be hit by the burst of the real estate bubble, according to an Indicator Insight report from Arizona State University.

As the recovery continues, healthcare is emerging as a beacon of hope for Arizona’s economic future. The Arizona Capitol Times sums up the reasons for this optimism: “Arizona’s healthcare sector has all the right ingredients: high-wage jobs, a highly educated workforce, and a growing impact on the state’s economy.” This is great news for Arizonans, who can look forward to increasing options for employment, housing, and of course, their own healthcare needs.

A Healthcare Sector on the Rise

Arizona is home to some of the giants of the healthcare industry, which is one of the fastest growing industries in the nation, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Cronkite News notes that “The Mayo Clinic, the Barrow Neurological Institute, the Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, and the Translational Genomics Research Institute all have a presence in the state, as do bioscience companies such as AstraZeneca and Medtronic.”

In August 2015, the University of Arizona Cancer Center opened its $100 million facility on the Downtown Biomedical Campus in Phoenix, where it will treat about 60,000 patients a year and create hundreds of biomedical jobs. Meanwhile, the Phoenix branch of Cancer Treatment Centers of America has been recognized numerous times for its quality, disease-specific care, and the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix is pioneering cutting-edge methods of radiation therapy.

Cancer treatment is an area in which economic growth and positive human impact go hand in hand, the Capitol Times reports and this is becoming evident in Arizona.

Moreover, Arizona’s healthcare industry is not limited to hospitals. As Senior Strategic Advisor for Tenet Healthcare Corp. Reginald Ballantyne tells Cronkite News, “[Healthcare] is also emergency care, retail clinics, pharmacy insurance companies … rehabilitation centers and much, much more. Combined, healthcare is close to 20% of Arizona’s economy, and that may well grow for 2016.”

Employing, Innovating and Providing Care

Healthcare companies have a strong presence in the 2015 “Arizona Republic 100″, a ranking of the state’s largest 100 employers. Almost 20% of these leading employers are in the healthcare industry, occupying many of the top spots. Ballantyne pointed out that, “Among the 20 fastest growing employment opportunities for 2016, 11 are healthcare related.”

The Arizona Republic also notes that Banner Health, one of the largest non-profit hospital systems in the nation, has supplanted Walmart as Arizona’s largest non-government employer.

With many projecting continued growth and innovation, the state’s future is beginning to look much brighter. Arizona’s three public universities — Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona — conduct leading research in the fields of bioscience and healthcare. The Arizona Commerce Authority notes that from 2002-2011, these three universities “spun off 67 bioscience startups and received 180 bioscience patents.”

These academic institutions help to drive innovation and educate Arizona’s workforce, which ranks 14th in the nation, according to CNBC.

What This Means for Your Health

With so many first-rate healthcare facilities and providers, Arizona is a great place to live and work. And Phoenix residents benefit from the wide array of options for their health coverage, as well as a robust labor market in the healthcare industry.

However, a healthy job market and growing industry does not always mean access to affordable healthcare. It can be tricky to sort through all of the options available, and the care you need may not always be within your price range. SingleCare adds two essential ingredients to this mix: simplicity and affordability. SingleCare members can find providers and see the prices of the care they’re looking for up front, prices that are often up to 60% less than what you’d pay out of pocket.

If you are uninsured, SingleCare can protect you against massive out-of-pocket expenses by offering pre-negotiated rates, so you’ll never end up with unexpected charges and costs. If you already have insurance, SingleCare can fill the gaps in your coverage.

When you join SingleCare, you will be able to access affordable healthcare on your terms. There’s no better way to navigate one of the best healthcare markets in the country.

(Main image credit: Ryan McVay/Thinkstock)