U.S. Economy Owes Hospitals $2.6 Trillion Worth of Thanks

Hospitals account for one of nine jobs in the United States, making them the second largest source of private-sector jobs. According to the American Hospital Association, hospitals generate $2.6 trillion each year for the economy. Additionally, hospital spending generates further business activity. Each hospital job supports approximately two jobs in different business sectors.

Hospital Spending

Emergency departments treated 134 million people in 2013. Almost 4 million babies were delivered in hospitals, and almost 27 million surgeries were performed. Additionally, hospitals boosted other businesses by spending a staggering $782 billion on goods and services. The jobs offered by hospitals as well as the ripple effect from hospital spending results in 15.7 million total jobs.

This impact is profoundly felt in rural areas. For example, Alabama depends on hospitals to employ over 84,000 people and generate $19 billion for the economy. In Louisiana, almost 100,000 people are employed by hospitals, and Mississippi hospitals provide 5.7 percent of state employment.

Effect of Health Reform

States that expanded Medicaid under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care act (ACA) (P.L. 111-148) saw additional job growth in the health care market. Between December 2013 and December 2013, states that implemented the expansion saw social assistance and health care job growth increase 30 percent faster than those who did not. Additionally, hospitals in states that did not expand were projected to lose around $168 billion between 2013 and 2022.