NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Hospital Association (THA) released its Economic Report on Friday, July 13, outlining the tremendous financial impact and economic benefit of hospitals statewide. The financial impact of healthcare industry employment in 2015 – the most recent year for which data are available – was $18.3 billion. Of that total, hospital employment was $6 billion.
Healthcare employees also have household members who are employed in the community and create a ripple effect, which resulted in $28 billion in salaries and pay that year. This is the impact of the more than 586,000 healthcare jobs, of which 180,532 are hospital-based.
Marvin Eichorn, THA board chair and Ballad Health’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, said, “Regardless of size or location, all 172 Tennessee hospitals share a common mission to provide quality healthcare to the communities they serve. Beyond this role to serve patients, hospitals also play a critical role in local economies.”
Hospitals are a reliable source of employment, many of which offer a sustainable living wage and employee benefits. This impact is particularly significant in rural communities, where hospitals are frequently the largest employer and a major driver of economic development. With nine rural hospital closures in the state since 2012, and other facilities facing challenging futures, the importance of rural hospitals cannot be understated.
Beyond boosting the economy, the work of hospitals to care for communities is vital to the well-being of Tennesseans. In 2015, the state’s hospitals treated 3.7 million people in emergency departments and provided more than 8 million outpatient visits and roughly 852,000 inpatient stays.
Craig Becker, THA president and CEO, said, “In Shelby County, residents are served by a facility that cares for a wide array of healthcare needs, while also providing important economic support for the area. In 2015 alone, local hospitals cared for 1,640,432 patients. Those facilities provided 20,863 jobs, resulting in a total economic impact of $2,091,796,002 for the county.”
The Tennessee Hospital Association was founded in 1938 and serves as an advocate for hospitals, health systems and other healthcare organizations across the state. The initiatives of THA support the efforts of Tennessee’s hospitals to ensure high quality care for the patients and communities they serve.