The Tennessee Hospital Association (THA) released its Economic Report today, which outlines 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 which hospital employment was $6 billion.
Healthcare employees also have household members who are employed in the community that 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.