ATLANTA, Ga. (May 2, 2011)—In 2009, Piedmont Healthcare generated more than $2 billion in revenue for the state economy according to a recent report by the Georgia Hospital Association (GHA), an increase over the prior year. The report also found the cost of uncompensated care to be $28 million (not including unpaid costs of Medicaid and Medicare) during the same time period, and the healthcare system sustained more than 6,270 full-time jobs throughout the state.
Piedmont Healthcare had direct expenditures of over $850 million in 2009. When combined with an economic multiplier developed by the United States Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, the total economic impact of those expenditures was more than $2.1 billion. This output multiplier considers the “ripple” effect of direct hospital expenditures on other sectors of the economy, such as medical supplies, durable medical equipment and pharmaceuticals. Economic multipliers are used to model the resulting impact of a change in one industry on the “circular flow” of spending within an economy as a whole.
While Piedmont Healthcare member hospitals remain a major component of the state’s economic engine, the system’s leadership, like the rest of the Georgia hospital community, is concerned about a wide array of economic challenges that have made it increasingly difficult to meet the community’s healthcare needs - including a fast-growing uninsured and underinsured population and new state legislation. Presently, more than a third of all hospitals in Georgia are operating with negative margins.
“We are concerned with the current operating environment for hospitals,” said R. Timothy Stack, president and CEO of Piedmont Healthcare. “Piedmont Healthcare has been providing a vital service to the communities we serve for over a century, and the demand for care is growing. Healthcare is an excellent business opportunity for Georgia. However, plans for the future of the healthcare industry in this state are jeopardized with an increasing number of uninsured patients and a new tax burden on hospitals.”
According to Stack, state lawmakers must work to protect the state’s healthcare system with the same fervor employed for other initiatives like education and public utilities.
“The state healthcare system provides jobs and business opportunities even during difficult economic times,” said Stack. “Our hospitals are an integral part of our communities and are the foundation for quality of life. With the continued support of the community and our elected lawmakers, we have the ability to do what is necessary to protect our local healthcare systems and preserve access to healthcare for Georgia.”
For more information on Piedmont Healthcare, visit piedmont.org.