AHA Details Hospitals' $2.2T Economic Activity

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , July 7, 2011

The nation's hospitals treated more than 127 million in-patients, employed more than 5.4 million people, and generated more than $2.2 trillion in economic activity in 2009, an American Hospital Association report says.

The report – Economic Contribution of Hospitals Often Overlooked – notes that hospitals provided outpatient care for 515 million people, performed 27 million surgeries, and delivered 4 million babies in 2009, and that the overall healthcare sector created an average of 24,000 new jobs a month that year, despite the recession.

"Every year, hospitals provide vital healthcare services like these to millions of people in thousands of communities. However, the importance of hospitals to their communities extends far beyond healthcare," AHA said in the report. "The healthcare sector is an economic mainstay, providing stability and even growth during times of recession."

Hospitals support one of nine jobs in the nation, and the overall healthcare sector is one of the largest sources of private-sector jobs in the nation, spending about $342 billion on goods and services from other businesses. "With these 'ripple effects' included, each hospital job supports about two more jobs and every dollar spent by a hospital supports roughly $2.30 of additional business activity," the AHA report said.

The report includes a state-by-state breakdown of economic activity generated by hospitals.

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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