HCA Healthcare plans to build three new hospitals in Florida

The system continues to expand its presence in the Sunshine State. HCA opened a new hospital in Florida last month.

Continuing its strategy of investing in areas of rapid growth, HCA Healthcare has announced plans to build three new hospitals in Florida.

With the new hospitals, HCA Healthcare continues to expand its presence in the Sunshine State. In November, HCA opened the $360 million HCA Florida University Hospital in Davie. Over the past three years, HCA has invested $3 billion in Florida, the company said in a news release.

HCA plans to build a 90-bed acute care hospital in Gainesville, a 60-bed facility near The Villages and a 100-bed acute care hospital in Fort Myers. The company said it plans to begin construction next year. HCA announced the planned new hospitals Nov. 30.

The healthcare network already boasts a strong presence in Florida. HCA is operating 47 hospitals in the state and its network includes 400 affiliated sites. But now the hospital aims to continue its expansion, said Sam Hazen, CEO of HCA Healthcare.

“Florida continues to experience rapid population growth, and the addition of these new hospitals will help HCA Florida Healthcare meet the increasing need for acute care services in these areas,” Hazen said in a news release. “We are excited to expand our presence in the state and enhance our ability to care for patients.”

In the 2020 Census data released earlier this year, Florida's population rose to 21.5 million, an increase of 14.6% over the past decade.

HCA has been expanding westward as well. In September, HCA Healthcare acquired five Utah hospitals from Steward Health Care. Those hospitals joined HCA Healthcare’s Mountain Division, which includes 11 hospitals in Utah, Idaho and Alaska.

At the time, Hazen noted Utah is one of the nation's fastest growing states. In the 2020 Census, Utah emerged as the state with the fastest growth with an 18% rise in its population, now at nearly 3.3 million. The company seems to be targeting its expansion in parts of the country that are seeing the most rapid growth.

HCA Healthcare has sold five hospitals in Georgia this year, pulling out of the northern Georgia market altogether. When it pulled out of northern Georgia, HCA said the move would create more financial flexibility to invest in the system's core markets.

On Thursday, HCA Healthcare also announced it will donate $1.5 million to Florida A&M University’s School of Allied Health Sciences. The donation is aimed at helping students pursue management careers in healthcare. Earlier this year, HCA said it would donate $10 million over three years to Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic Serving Institutions, with the goal of improving diversity in the healthcare field.

Based in Nashville, Tenn., HCA operates 183 hospitals and more than 2,000 ambulatory sites across the U.S. and in the United Kingdom.