Reports Shows Burke Medical Center Provides Jobs, Generates $11 Million for Local and State Economy

October 8, 2014 8:56 am

In 2012, Burke Medical Center in Waynesboro generated more than $11 million in revenue for the local and state economy according to a recent report by the Georgia Hospital Association, the state’s largest hospital trade association. The report also found, during the same time period, Burke Medical Center provided approximately $1 million in uncompensated care while sustaining more than 107 full-time jobs.

The report revealed Burke Medical Center had direct expenditures of more than $8 million, in 2012. When combined with the economic multiplier developed by the United States Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, the total economic impact of those expenditures was more than $20 million. This output multiplier considers the “ripple” effect of direct hospital expenditures on other sectors of the economy, such as medical supplies, durable medical equipment, and pharmaceuticals. Economic multipliers are used to model the resulting impact of a change in one industry on the “circular flow” of spending within an economy as a whole.

“This new report shows, as the state’s economy continued its slow rebound from years of economic downturn, Burke Medical Center maintained a positive impact on our local economy,” said Doug Keir, CEO of Burke Medical Center. “We are so appreciative for Burke County’s unwavering support of their local hospital and will continue to work hard to ensure the residents have access to the best and safest health care services available.”

While Burke Medical Center remains a major component of the area’s economic engine, the hospital’s leadership, like the rest of the Georgia hospital community, is concerned about a wide array of economic challenges that have made it increasingly difficult to meet the community’s health care needs, including continued cuts in Medicare and Medicaid payments and a fast-growing uninsured population. Presently, 42 percent of all hospitals in Georgia are operating with negative margins.

“We’re extremely concerned about the current operating environment for hospitals,” said Mr. Keir. “We made a commitment to every citizen of this community to be on call for them 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. However, our ability to do so is being compromised when a growing number of our patients are either uninsured or severely underinsured.”

According to Mr. Keir, state lawmakers must work to protect the state’s health care system with the same fervor they do other initiatives like education and public utilities.

“Our local health care system is indispensable,” said Mr. Keir. “It is not only the primary guardian of health in our community, but it is a major economic engine in this area that is responsible for 244 jobs. It is our hope our elected lawmakers will do what is necessary to protect our local health care system and preserve access to health care for every resident of Burke County.”

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