Hospitals offer $6.3B 'ripple effect' boost in Rhode Island

Hospitals serve as a major "economic engine" in Rhode Island by providing jobs and spending, according to a new report released last week from the Hospital Association of Rhode Island. Thanks to a ripple effect throughout the economy, hospitals contributed more than $6.3 billion to the state in 2010.

Moreover, the state's hospitals employed 21,400 healthcare professionals, who earned more than $1.8 billion in annual wages.

"Hospitals are critical to a vibrant Rhode Island," HARI President Edward Quinlan said Friday in a statement. "To continue to attract jobs to and keep families in our state, we must have high-quality healthcare providers and services," he said.

The report notes that in 2010, hospitals spent more than $1.2 billion on goods and services to deliver patient care, which yielded an additional $2.5 billion for the state. Rhode Island hospitals also spent roughly $90 million on facility improvements and enhanced technology. Such capital investments generated about $178 million in financial activity.

Meanwhile, Lifespan has agreed to contribute $2.4 million to Providence over the next three years, in lieu of taxes, the Associated Press reported. Mayor Angel Taveras hopes the voluntary payments from the nonprofit health system will help Rhode Island's capital city escape bankruptcy.

To learn more:
- read the report (.pdf)
- here's the HARI statement (.pdf)
- read the AP article