AUGUSTA, Ga. – Georgia Regents Medical Center played a critical role in boosting Augusta’s financial health by pumping more than $1.1 billion into the economy in 2011, according to a report from the Georgia Hospital Association. In addition, Georgia Regents Medical Associates, the physicians practice group for the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University, contributed about $255 million during the same time period, according to GHA, for a combined impact of $1.4 billion for the Georgia Regents Health System.
“This underscores the positive impact GRHealth has on our region,” said David S. Hefner, Executive Vice President for Clinical Affairs at GRU and CEO of Georgia Regents Medical Center and Georgia Regents Medical Associates. “While our health system prides itself on being the hospital that meets the critical health care needs for this area, we are equally proud to be a major regional employer and a business partner to many, contributing countless added benefits to the Georgia economy.”
GRMC, which includes Children’s Hospital of Georgia and more than 80 outpatient clinics, supported about 7,530 full-time jobs, while the Medical Associates supported about 1,480 positions.
The report revealed that the hospital and practice group had combined direct expenditures of $603 million. However, when combined with an economic multiplier developed by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, the total economic impact of the hospital and practice group was $1,367,118,666. This output multiplier considers the “ripple” effect of direct hospital expenditures on other sectors of the economy, such as medical suppliers, durable medical equipment and pharmaceuticals.
Using a “household earnings multiplier,” the study determined that GRHealth generated more than $612 million in household earnings in the local economy. The household earnings formula measures the increased economic contributions from households employed directly or indirectly by the GR Health entities.
The GHA reports also determined that GRHealth provided nearly $56 million in uncompensated care in 2011.
“The uncompensated care burden coupled with continued reductions in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements are certainly a challenge for hospital sustainability,” Hefner said. “But our health care system is indispensable. It is a primary guardian of health, a referral resource for advanced and complex care across the region and a key building block for everything else in our communities, including education and economic vitality.”
Georgia Regents University and Health System entered into an agreement to manage operations at the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation in July, which includes the Warm Springs Long Term Acute Care Hospital. Those facilities contributed more than $36 million to the Meriwether County economy in 2011 and supported about 625 jobs.