University Health System and UT Health sign MOU

September 17, 2020

The partners will work on agreement to operate new specialty hospital

University Health System and UT Health San Antonio today announced they have signed a memorandum of understanding to establish an equally governed nonprofit joint venture. In a press conference led by Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, University Health President and CEO George B. Hernández Jr. and UT Health SA President William L. Henrich discussed how the new joint venture would strengthen the organizations’ long-standing partnership. This agreement is the first step in creating an integrated health network to strategically expand services, improve continuity of care, and enhance their clinical research and teaching missions to meet the growing needs of Bexar County and South Texas.

This integrated health network would include the development of a plan for the joint venture to lease and operate the proposed UT Health specialty hospital in the Medical Center. The agreement builds on University Health’s existing 52-year old affiliation with UT Health-San Antonio and assures alignment between the specialty hospital and University Hospital. In keeping with the principles of an integrated and efficient system, the specialty hospital will not provide duplicate health care services. Primary goals revolve around improving the patient experience, being most efficient with health care investments and improving the overall health of the population.

“This agreement strengthens our partnership with UT Health San Antonio and will be a blueprint for future joint endeavors,” Hernández said. “This new system will offer substantial benefits to our patients, including more access to services and providers, and an integrated patient medical record. This is an exciting time for both organizations as we grow and advance our national reputation.”

“An integrated system will be an important win for the people of San Antonio as we deliver the best provider care in the most modern facilities, unified by interfacing electronic medical records, and patients will have access to leading-edge technologies and clinical trials,” Dr. Henrich said. “Accomplishing this will mean that fewer patients find it necessary to ever leave San Antonio for the most sophisticated care.”

In July, University Health System transitioned its electronic medical records system to Epic, the same EMR used by UT Health San Antonio clinical practices. The availability of patient information to physicians across the integrated system, through Epic, will result in more efficient, seamless care for patients regardless of their point of entry into the system.

“Congratulations to UT Health San Antonio and University Health System on this newest agreement,” Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said. “This expansion of a half-century-old academic partnership will greatly benefit the people of Bexar County. This partnership is an economic engine that involves two of our largest employers, and the resulting health delivery system will be a valuable factor in helping us to attract companies that look to relocate to our area.”