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Report Finds Hospitals Are Economic Anchors of Western New York | Health

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Report Finds Hospitals Are Economic Anchors of Western New York
Health, News
Report Finds Hospitals Are Economic Anchors of Western New York

ALBANY, N.Y — A recent Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) report found that Western New York’s hospitals maintain 51,440 jobs and generate $6.4 billion in economic activity.  Statewide, hospitals and health systems are responsible for 686,610 jobs and generate $108 billion in economic activity each year, or 9.4% of the Gross State Product.

Not only are hospitals among the top employers in the region, hospitals and their employees generate tremendous direct and indirect economic activity by purchasing goods and services from other businesses, and by investing in capital improvements.  Additionally, access to health care is a critical factor in statewide economic development and a prerequisite for attracting companies looking to expand or relocate.

“Hospitals clearly serve as economic anchors of Western New York,” said HANYS’ President Daniel Sisto.  “It is important to realize the full impact our local health care facilities have on the communities in which we live.  Not only do they always stand ready to aid us in times of crisis, they sustain and support the livelihoods of thousands of local families.”

“Their contributions to Western New York cannot be overstated and must be protected.  Over just the last ten years, 30 hospitals have closed across the state.  Few communities can withstand such a loss.”

The report, New York State’s Hospitals:  Transforming Lives and Communities, is available online at http://www.hanys.org/communications/publications/2010/2010-09_hanys_economic_benefit_report.pdf.

Among the report’s key findings:

  • Western New York’s hospitals and health systems are responsible for maintaining 51,440 jobs and generating $6.4 billion in economic activity. 
  • Each year, New York’s hospitals treat 2.6 million inpatients and 47.1 million outpatients, including 7.9 million emergency room visits; provide $1.9 billion in uncompensated care and an array of health and service programs, many at no charge to their communities; and deliver more than 262,000 babies.
  • Hospitals are economic engines in their communities not only because of the jobs they provide, but because accessible health care is necessary for productivity.  A strong and convenient health care system is important to retirees, whose spending can be a significant source of revenue for the local economy, and just as important to young families who are a source of future growth and vitality.
  • New York’s 11 academic medical centers and 95 teaching hospitals train thousands of doctors (about 15% of the nation’s medical residents), advance state-of-the-art medicine, and provide free care to New York’s most vulnerable residents. 
  • New York’s hospitals are an integral part of medical research throughout the state.  Research programs and grants at hospitals statewide draw significant funding from sources outside the community, and often outside the state.
  • New York State’s hospitals are vital to the economy and quality of life of communities throughout the state.  However, reductions in government reimbursement, insurance company efforts to deny or delay payment for care, onerous and duplicative regulations, skyrocketing medical malpractice costs, and the effects of the recession are squeezing New York’s hospitals, forcing many to lay off workers and eliminate needed services.

Mr. Sisto noted that New York’s health care providers have endured more than $5.3 billion in cuts over the last three years.  Faced with a state budget deficit that could grow as large as $10 billion in the upcoming fiscal year, there is grave concern that additional hospital closures and significant job losses will occur across the state if the health care system is not fundamentally redesigned.  To aid policy makers, HANYS has prepared detailed recommendations for redesigning New York’s Medicaid program to reduce health care costs and improve patient care. 

“It is critical that our state’s legislators, members of Congress, and community leaders recognize that hospitals are instrumental in supporting state and local economies, and that it is necessary to invest in and protect our state’s health care system,” Mr. Sisto said.

The Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) is the only statewide hospital and continuing care association in New York State, representing more than 550 non-profit and public hospitals, nursing homes, home care agencies, and other health care organizations.  For more information visit http://www.hanys.org/.


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