AHA says hospitals had $15.2 billion impact in 2020

by Steve Brawner ([email protected]) 314 views 

Arkansas hospitals had an estimated annual economic impact of more than $15.2 billion in 2020, and they directly provide 47,300 jobs with a total payroll of almost $3.7 billion, according to a report distributed by the Arkansas Hospital Association.

Wages earned by hospital employees generate about $6.7 billion in economic activity and create another 43,100 jobs.

The report is based on statewide data on employment, payroll, purchasing and capital spending. The AHA is composed of 105 member hospitals.

The report said Arkansas hospitals spend more than $4.1 billion annually on goods and services such as medical supplies, electricity, and food for patients. Those expenditures generate almost $7.5 billion in economic activity. Hospitals spent more than $617 million on buildings and equipment in 2020, generating more than $1.1 billion in economic activity.

The report notes that hospitals have served their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic and provide rapid responses to mass trauma events such as the recent shooting at a car show in Dumas that resulted in at least 28 people being injured with one death. Sixty-one hospitals have become designated trauma centers, with six of them considered Level 1 centers.

According to the most recent data available, Arkansas hospitals in 2019 had 365,395 inpatient visits; 4,914,195 outpatient visits and procedures; 1,556,206 emergency room visits; and 34,678 births.

The report says the 105 AHA member hospitals are located in 53 counties.

Among them are 74 general acute care community hospitals, 28 of them critical access hospitals. The others include six long-term care hospitals, 11 psychiatric facilities, five rehabilitation hospitals, two Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals, two pediatric hospitals, and a hospital for women. Forty-four of the state’s community hospitals have fewer than 100 beds.

Sixty-two percent of the 105 AHA hospitals are not-for-profit organizations, 25% are private, for-profit corporations, and 13% are public facilities owned and operated by a city, county, state or federal government.

Hospitals are among the top five employers in 36 Arkansas counties and are among the top three employers in 21 counties.

Arkansas hospitals provided $442 million in charity care in 2019 for patients who could not afford to pay for their services, the report said.