Oregon's Community Hospitals Economic Output: $18.9 Billion

Oregon community hospitals accounted for $18.9 billion in economic output in Oregon in 2013, according to a new study by ECONorthwest released today by the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems (OAHHS).

Nearly 60,000 Oregonians are directly employed by Oregon's community hospitals and another 52,000 jobs are directly associated with hospitals, showing that community hospitals are one of Oregon's key economic engines. Those 112,000 hospital-related jobs account for 4.9 percent of the state's total employment. On a county-by-county basis, hospital jobs and associated employment generally range between 3 and 6 percent of job totals--often trailing only government-supported jobs.

"Today's report shows the importance of Oregon's community hospitals to both the health of Oregonians and the health of Oregon's economy," said Andy Van Pelt, executive vice president of OAHHS. "Hospitals mean a great deal to their communities--from urban centers like Portland to rural places like Burns. They represent things like health, happiness and hope. Today's report shows they also represent jobs and economic stability."

"Hospitals are major employers across urban and rural Oregon," said John Tapogna, president of ECONorthwest. "And, importantly, they create large numbers of middle-skill, middle-wage jobs that are disappearing in other industries. Productive, well-run hospitals are a key to the state's economic future."

Other key findings from the report include:

-- Gross State Product: The direct and secondary economic activity linked to hospitals contributed approximately $8.4 billion to Oregon's Gross State Product (GSP) in 2013.

-- State and Local Taxes: Hospitals directly generated approximately $176.3 million in tax and fee revenue for state and local jurisdictions in 2013. The State and local governments collected another $276.5 million in taxes from businesses that supply goods and services to hospitals. This sums to a total tax revenue of about $452.8 million.

"Hospitals are at the center of the economic life of the communities they serve," added Van Pelt. "As some of the largest employers in the state, we know that many communities depend on their hospital. With family-wage jobs, hospitals drive much of the economic engine that fuels other parts of county economies. Hospitals do this while continuing to ensure that people have a place to go for care and treatment at any time and for any reason. Hospitals are proud to serve Oregon, and this new report quantifies another way that they are integral to our state."

The report found that rural hospitals play an outsized role in their communities. They are one of the steadiest sources of jobs and have relatively higher job totals as a percent of the total employment in those rural counties. Hospital and hospital-supported jobs did not decline during the recession and in rural counties this was a great source of economic stability.

As a function of their commitment to the health of their communities, in 2013, as tallied by the Oregon Health Authority, Oregon hospitals provided more than $1.8 billion in community benefit contributions. In Oregon, "community benefit" is defined in statute as health care-related services that nonprofit hospitals provide without the expectation of compensation. At the same time, Oregon community hospitals provided care for 336,153 inpatients, more than 9.9 million outpatients, and more than 1.2 million emergency room visits.

"Oregon community hospitals are deeply connected with the communities they serve," said Van Pelt. "From the family-wage jobs they provide, to the economic stability they furnish, to the community benefit they contribute, Oregon's hospitals are vital to our state."

The economic impact study--commissioned by OAHHS--was conducted by ECONorthwest using state-specific data from the American Hospital Association and using the IMPLAN economic modeling tool. 

- See more at: http://www.oahhs.org/news-and-publications/press-releases/oregons-commun...

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