AHA Report Puts A Number on Hospitals' Economic Activity

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012 3:43 pm  

A report released Wednesday by the Arkansas Hospital Association said hospitals in Arkansas directly employ 75,000 people and generate $10.3 million each year in economic activity.

"Most people don't think of hospitals as economic drivers, but we can quantify that they leave huge footprints on local economies and the entire state for the financial benefit they contribute," Bo Ryall, president and CEO of the AHA, said in a news release accompanying the report, called "What's at Stake: Arkansas Hospitals' Total Impact on the Economy and Our Communities," available here.

The association said hospitals' clout comes not just from hospitals' role as employers and major purchasers, but also from related dollars moving through cities, towns and communities.

"Even as great as this figure is, hospitals' non-quantifiable benefit may be just as important," Ryall said.

According to the report:

  • Hospitals directly employ 42,300 healthcare professionals, technicians and support workers. They contributed payrolls in 2010 totaling $2.7 billion.
  • Those payrolls indirectly supported another 32,700 jobs -- and $2.25 billion in earnings -- through hospital employees' purchases of good and services, including groceries, clothing, cars, appliances, houses and more.
  • Arkansas hospitals spent about $2.67 billion in 2010 on day-to-day supplies and services to conduct operations. Those include liability and healthcare insurance, electricity for buildings, and bandages, food and other supplies for patients.  
  • Buying those products and services flow to local vendors and businesses, sparking another $2.25 billion in economic activity as those vendors pay their employees and  fund their operational needs.
  • Arkansas hospitals' 2010 capital spending of $249.7 million generated about $458.8 million for local economies.



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