PA HOSPITALS’ ECONOMIC CONTRIBUTIONS JUMP TO $104 BILLION
Pocono Health System provides over $425 million
Pocono Health System/Pocono Medical Center annually contributes nearly over $425 million to the region’s economy, according to information released by The Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP). Pocono Health System/Pocono Medical Center also supports nearly 2,775 jobs in the Pocono Mountain region. As a non-profit organization, Pocono Health System/Pocono Medical Center also provided more than $30 million in charitable benefits to the community.
“Pocono Health System/Pocono Medical Center plays a major role in the economic and social well-being of our community,” said Geoffrey M. Roche, Director, Community and Government Relations. “We are a safety net for our most vulnerable citizens, and are working to broaden our reach through public health efforts.”
The report also incorporates IRS Schedule H data, which shows that in 2012 Pennsylvania’s non-profit hospitals provided more than $5.8 billion in charitable community benefits. All hospitals—non-profit and investor-owned combined—contributed nearly $104 billion to local and state economies.
“Pennsylvania’s hospitals and health systems are going through significant transitions as they redesign care delivery to focus on improving patient quality and satisfaction, improve community health, and reduce per capita cost,” said HAP President and CEO Andy Carter. “Even during these transitions, they remain solid economic assets and major employers, because they provide critical services that are anchored in personal relationships. They will always be cornerstones of their communities.”
In 2012, Pennsylvania’s hospitals cared for patients during 1.6 million hospital admissions; 39 million visits in outpatient settings; 6 million emergency department visits; and delivered more than 125,000 babies.
The $5.8 billion in charitable community benefits included more than $1 billion in unpaid patient bills; nearly $2.3 billion to subsidize care for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries; more than $428 million in financial assistance and charity care; more than $262 million in subsidized health services; nearly $135 million in community health improvement services and programs in response to the health needs of their communities; more than $674 million in hospital-based education programs to train highly skilled health care professionals; more than $935 million in research to cure illnesses and advance medical treatments and services; and more than nearly $14 million in contributions and community-building activities.
The nearly $104 billion in economic impact includes the support of nearly 592,000 jobs—about one in ten jobs in Pennsylvania.
Carter cautioned that the economic benefits hospitals have continued to provide during turbulent economic times should not be taken for granted.
By example, he said that hospitals have been taking steps more recently to address fiscal pressures through layoffs, hiring freezes, cuts to services and cancellation of projects.
“These actions are in response to ongoing federal payment cuts and the absence of Medicaid expansion in the Commonwealth. The Affordable Care Act included $8.1 billion in cuts to Pennsylvania hospitals’ Medicare and Medicaid payments over ten years. In addition, Pennsylvania’s hospitals are absorbing an additional $1.4 billion in Medicare cuts as a result of the federal sequestration cuts.
“If the state or federal government continue to turn to hospitals to fill budget shortfalls, we will see more layoffs and service reductions. They can’t make the delivery system changes that are needed and remain viable economic drivers if their payments are cut again and again.”
HAP is a statewide membership services organization that advocates for nearly 240 Pennsylvania acute and specialty care, primary care, subacute care, long-term care, home health, and hospice providers, as well as the patients and communities they serve. Additional information about HAP is available online at www.haponline.org.