Hospitals vital to economy

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During slow economic times, hospitals provide states, as well as the entire country, with stability and growth.

Such is the case in Massachusetts, where its hospitals employed more than 197,000 people in 2012 and contributed more than $51 billion dollars to the Bay State in 2011, according to a report released last week from the Massachusetts Hospital Association.

Buoyed by a "multiplier effect," every hospital job in Massachusetts supports more than two other jobs throughout the economy.

Hospitals also continue to serve as a major "economic engine" in Rhode Island, generating $6.7 billion in economic activity in 2011, according to a new report from the Hospital Association of Rhode Island.

Hospitals have a huge national influence on jobs and financial growth. For example, U.S. medical schools, teaching hospitals and affiliated medical systems provided $587 billion in economic benefits during 2011.

In the United States, hospitals serve as the second largest source of private sector jobs, employing nearly 5.5 million people, according to data from the American Hospital Association. The AHA pointed out that nationwide, hospitals supply more than $2.3 trillion in economic activity, including spending $702 billion on goods and services from other businesses.

But impending Medicare cuts could jeopardize hospitals' contribution to employment and financial growth, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

To learn more:
- read Massachusetts the statement (.pdf)