Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) had a more than $2 billion impact on the local and state economy in 2018 according to a report by the Georgia Hospital Association (GHA), the state’s largest hospital trade association.
The report found that, in 2018, NGMC generated $2,070,765,303 in revenue for the local and state economy; provided more than $45.7 million in total estimated charity care; and sustained more than 18,000 full-time jobs throughout the region and state – in addition to the more than 9,000 employees directly employed by Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS). The more than $45.7 million in total estimated charity care, which provides financial assistance to people who meet certain criteria and cannot afford to pay all or portions of their medical bills, doesn’t take into account more than $10 million NGMC provided in community outreach such as free screenings and health education.
The report revealed that, in 2018, NGMC had direct expenditures of more than $900 million in 2018. When combined with an 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 $2 billion. 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 impact of a change in one industry on the “circular flow” of spending within an economy as a whole.
“NGHS is proud to be an economic pillar in northeast Georgia, and we remain committed to meeting the healthcare needs of our patients, especially during times of crisis,” said Carol Burrell, president and CEO for NGHS. “In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have taken on costly projects like adding hospital beds and purchasing additional equipment and supplies. In order to combat significant financial losses, we’ve asked leaders to take a reduction in compensation and take off days. We have paused expansion and improvement projects and are continuing to evaluate ways to lessen the financial impact so we can continue to serve our community for years to come.”
The figures in the GHA study only reflect the economic impact of hospital expenditures and do not include the impact of other services, such as physician offices and long-term care facilities, provided by NGHS.