CONTACT: Roger H. Baumgarten, (Statewide)
Director, Media Relations (HAP)
Work: (717) 561-5342
Priscilla Koutsouradis, (SE PA)
Communications Director (DVHC of HAP)
Work: (215) 575-3743
Cell: (215) 906-2739
On April 11, The Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) released Pennsylvania’s Hospitals Critical to State Economy , a new report showing that Pennsylvania’s hospitals provided more than 585,000 hospital and hospital service-related jobs to the commonwealth’s workforce and $98.9 billion to the state’s economy in 2010—up 9 percent, from $89.8 billion, in 2008. In 55 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties, hospitals are among the top five employers. HAP’s findings were presented today at a meeting of the state Senate Economy, Business and Jobs Caucus, co-chaired by Senators Bob Mensch (R) and Lisa Boscola (D).
“Last month, the Governor proposed a state budget intended to ‘make jobs grow’ and to ‘sort the must-haves from the nice-to-haves,’” said Carolyn F. Scanlan, president and CEO of The Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania.
“Unfortunately, the Governor’s budget plan includes cutting Medicaid payments to hospitals by $333.3 million—jeopardizing thousands of jobs and access to hospital care for expectant moms, automobile accident victims, and burn victims,” Scanlan said. “The young, the elderly, persons with disabilities—the people least able to work—will potentially face the loss of critical hospital services in urban, suburban, and rural communities across the state.”
“Hospitals are a ‘must-have’—not a ‘nice-to-have’—for Pennsylvania’s citizens, providing essential health care services for millions of patients each year and stable employment for hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians,” Scanlan said. “As lawmakers craft a difficult 2011–2012 state budget, they need to ensure adequate payments for hospitals to remain fiscally healthy and to maintain their status as national leaders in health care quality.”
The report includes data from the Department of Labor and Industry data showing Pennsylvania’s non-farm employment decreasing by 4.2 percent over a two-year period, with direct hospital employment dropping by only 1.2 percent during the same period.
The report also outlines the current and future challenges facing hospitals; the primary effects of a weaker economy on hospitals; and the areas of anticipated higher expense growth for hospitals. In addition, the report demonstrates the hospital community’s efforts to be part of the solution as the state and federal governments work to improve economic conditions.
“Pennsylvania’s hospitals annually care for 1.7 million inpatients and 38 million outpatients, and they evaluate 5.8 million injured and ill people in their emergency departments,” Scanlan said, “and Pennsylvania’s hospitals also deliver more than 133,000 babies each year.”
In the report, state lawmakers are urged to make a number of commitments to, and investments in, Pennsylvania’s hospitals and health systems, including:
“While hospitals continue to experience the ongoing effects of the recession, their doors remain open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide healing, health, and hope to every patient,” Scanlan said.
Pennsylvania’s Hospitals Critical to State Economy is available online. The report updates HAP studies released in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009, and 2010, and includes data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, and HAP member hospitals and health systems.