Iowa’s health care sector provides more than 330,000 jobs statewide
Great River Medical Center generates 2,416 jobs that add $119.2 million
to Des Moines County’s economy, according to the latest study by
the Iowa Hospital Association (IHA). Hospital employees by themselves
spend $36.8 million on retail sales and contribute $2.2 million in state
sales tax revenue. In total, Great River Medical Center makes a $158.2
million economic impact.
The study doesn’t include the impact of Great River Health System’s
nearly 25 clinics, three pharmacies and two medical supplies stores.
“Great River Health System is southeast Iowa’s largest health
care provider and its largest employer,” said Matt Wenzel, president
and CEO. “We take our leadership responsibility seriously, and we
recognize our impact on the economic stability and future growth of the
communities we serve.”
The IHA study examined the jobs, income, retail sales and sales tax produced
by hospitals and the rest of the state’s health care sector. It
was compiled from hospital-submitted data on the American Hospital Association’s
Annual Survey of Hospitals and with software that other industries have
used to determine their economic impact.
The study found that Iowa hospitals directly employ 74,691 people and create
another 57,586 jobs outside the hospital sector. As an income source,
hospitals provide $4.8 billion in salaries and benefits and generate another
$2.3 billion through other jobs that depend on hospitals.
In all, Iowa’s health care sector, which includes offices of physicians,
dentists and other health practitioners, nursing home and residential
care, other medical and health services and pharmacies, contributes $17
billion to the state economy while directly and indirectly providing 330,308
jobs, or about 20 percent of the state’s total non-farm employment.
“Hospitals and health care are vital to the economy in all parts
of the state, both urban and rural,” said IHA president and CEO
Kirk Norris. “With more than 330,000 jobs, health care is one of
Iowa’s largest employers, and hospitals remain, by far, the biggest
contributor to that enormous impact.
“In Iowa cities and counties, hospitals are uniformly among the largest
employers. Those jobs bring income to Main Street businesses and support
local government services and infrastructure through taxes.”
As possible cuts to Medicaid and Medicare are contemplated, hospital services
and jobs are put at risk – and with them a large swath of the Iowa economy.
“These facts need to be front-of-mind among our political leaders
in Washington, DC, and Des Moines. They need to understand that when legislation
and regulations financially impact hospitals and health care, they also
impact jobs and business in every part of the state.”
The Iowa Hospital Association is a voluntary membership organization representing
hospital and health system interests to business, government and consumer
audiences. All of Iowa’s 118 community hospitals are IHA members.