Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Hospitals: A big economic impact on Arkansas

Posted By on Wed, Aug 1, 2012 at 2:42 PM

A LOT OF JOBS IN THOSE HILLS: UAMS employs more than 10,000.
  • A LOT OF JOBS IN THOSE HILLS: UAMS employs more than 10,000. Hospitals statewide account for more than 40,000 jobs, report says.

Fancy this. The Arkansas Hospital Association has issued a news release and an accompanying report on the significant impact of hospitals on the Arkansas economy.

Direct employment of 42,300 and payroll of $2.7 billion. And that's just for starters. They support thousands more jobs in everything from retail to services. And hospitals buy almost $3 billion in supplies. The report puts the total impact at $10 billion.

I'm just guessing that this is part of the campaign to move legislators to support a decision for Arkansas to participate in the Medicaid expansion provided by federal law. That would diminish hospital losses for unreimbursed care. It would assure a flow of new money that might spell survival for some hospitals. I'm just guessing. The report does conclude:

The data and information contained in this report provide strong evidence that the economic benefit of our hospitals on the local and state economies is significant. To continue to attract jobs and maintain families
in Arkansas, it is critical that the state have high quality healthcare providers and services.

We urge our legislators, members of Congress, and community leaders to recognize that our hospital is instrumental to supporting the state and local economy and steps need to be taken to continue to invest in our state’s healthcare system.

Wink, wink. (We're in agreement, by the way.)

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