Wisconsin hospitals, including Tomah Health influence state and local economies according to a new study released by the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA).
The WHA’s Healthy Hospitals, Healthy Communities report shares data gleaned from a 2019 University of Wisconsin-Madison Extension study examining the widespread economic impact and importance of Wisconsin’s health care sector. A follow-up to a similar study four years ago, this year’s report expands the reach of the previous study by examining health care entities broader than hospitals alone.
“As the report’s title states, healthy hospitals do indeed equal healthy communities and Wisconsin is fortunate to have so many top-quality hospitals and health systems,” WHA President and CEO Eric Borgerding said. “Health care is one of Wisconsin’s greatest assets and our hospitals have been and always will be a deep part of the fabric of our state.”
Tomah Health chief financial officer Joe Zeps said statistics show the local hospital provided jobs for 395 employees while supporting an additional 294 jobs created indirectly through hospital purchases and employee economic activity for 689 jobs using multiplier effects last year. “In addition to providing quality health care, Tomah Health also contributed to the local economy through people we directly employ, plus the goods and services we purchase,” Zeps said.
Zeps added that the hospital accounted for $89 million in economic activity last year. “The direct effect of the hospital accounts for nearly $58 million and includes revenues from services provided by the hospital. We also contributed nearly $49 million in total income to the community last year,” Zeps said.
UW-Madison Division of Extension professor Steve Deller, who produced the data analysis for WHA’s report, also highlighted how health care jobs have a greater impact for communities and the families supported by those jobs. “One of the most important elements of having a strong health care presence within the community, in addition to access to quality health care, is the nature of the pay these jobs provide the residents of Wisconsin,” Deller wrote in his analysis.
Some of the study’s findings included:
- The health care sector directly employs more than 327,000 people in the state. In addition, when considering the “ripple effect” of other economic sectors interacting with health care, the overall number of jobs attributed to the health care sector is approximately 571,900 jobs – more than 15% of all Wisconsin employment.
- Patients from other states seeking Wisconsin’s high-quality care spent $2.3 billion on hospital services in 2017. For every $1 million in spending from out-of-state patients, 13 new jobs (total impact) are created.
- The health care sector pays more than $3 billion in taxes to state and local governments, helping to support our schools and vital government programs.
“Hospitals and health care systems rank as one of the state’s largest employers and strongest economic drivers,” Borgerding added. “Wisconsin can retain and attract talented people to our state because the health care sector provides family-supporting jobs across a wide spectrum of education and skills – from high school to an advanced degree.
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