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So Prop 1 Passed. Now What's Next For Austin's Medical School? (Updated)

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Update (Nov. 7, 6 a.m.): The final tally shows Central Health's Proposition 1 passed 54.67 percent (186,128 votes) to 45.33 percent (154,308).

Original Story (Nov. 7, 12:12 a.m.): It looks like Austin is getting a medical school.

As of this writing, Central Health’s Prop 1 is ahead 54 percent (176,755 votes) to 46 percent (148,375). Numbers like that were enough for Prop 1 supporters to declare victory at the Driskill Hotel earlier this evening.

As part of Prop 1, the University of Texas has pledged upwards of $25 million annually for a medical school, while Seton Hospital has announced it will build a $250 million “teaching hospital” to replace the aging University Medical Center Brackenridge.

“Almost immediately, you will start seeing an effort to recruit a dean of a medical school,” State Sen. Kirk Watson tells KUT News. 

“You will see Seton and the Seton health care family finish up the process of getting final approval for the tentative commitment of at least $250 million for the teaching hospital," Watson says. "We will start the process of doing architectural and engineering work for the location of the modern teaching hospital and the medical facilities that you will need.”

The crux of Prop 1 is a Medicaid 1115 waiver, federal funding which is offered to states which are “using innovative service delivery systems that improve care, increase efficiency, and reduce costs.” The waiver associated with Central Health’s project, the 'Texas Healthcare Transformation and Quality Improvement Program,' offers a nearly $1.50 federal match to every local dollar Central Health raises.

You can read more about the waiver process online

Wells has been a part of KUT News since 2012, when he was hired as the station's first online reporter. He's currently the social media host and producer for Texas Standard, KUT's flagship news program. In between those gigs, he served as online editor for KUT, covering news in Austin, Central Texas and beyond.
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