Monday, April 13, 2009

Piedmont Fayette Hospital Generates $275 Million for Fayetteville’s Economy

In these hard economic times, it’s always nice to get some good news - Piedmont Fayette Hospital, a 143-bed, acute-care community hospital in Fayetteville, Ga., generated more than $275 million in revenue for the local economy according to a recent report released by the Georgia Hospital Association, the state’s largest hospital trade association. The report also found that, during the same time period, Piedmont Fayette Hospital provided approximately $5.5 million in uncompensated care while sustaining more than 1,100 full and part-time jobs throughout Fayette County and the surrounding area.

Piedmont Fayette Hospital is a member of Piedmont Healthcare, a not-for-profit organization that also includes Piedmont Hospital, Piedmont Mountainside Hospital and Piedmont Newnan Hospital. According to the same report, Piedmont Healthcare generated more than $1.7 billion in revenue for the metro Atlanta economy in addition to providing approximately $34 million in uncompensated care while sustaining more than 6,300 full and part-time jobs throughout metro Atlanta and the rest of the state.

“This new report shows that Piedmont Fayette Hospital has an enormous positive impact on our local economy,” said W. Darrell Cutts, president and CEO of Piedmont Fayette Hospital. “We thank the Fayette community’s unwavering support of their local hospital and will continue to work hard to ensure that the citizens of this community have access to healthcare services that are second to none in quality and affordability.”

While Piedmont Fayette Hospital 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 healthcare needs. These challenges include continued cuts in Medicare and Medicaid payments and a fast-growing uninsured and underinsured population. Presently, more than a third of all hospitals in Georgia are operating with negative margins.

“We’re extremely concerned with the current operating environment for hospitals,” said Cutts. “We’ve made a commitment to every citizen of this community to be on call for them 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. But our ability to do so could be compromised when the state is paying us far less than what it actually costs to treat patients in government-sponsored plans.”

According to Cutts, state lawmakers must work to protect the state’s healthcare system with the same fervor that they do other initiatives like education and public utilities.

“Our local healthcare system is indispensable,” said Cutts. “It is a key building block for our local economy and desired lifestyle. It is our hope that, even in these challenging economic times, our elected officials will do what is necessary to protect our local healthcare system and preserve access to care for every resident of the communities we serve.”

The report, which is based on the Georgia Department of Community Health’s 2006 Hospital Financial Survey, revealed that Piedmont Fayette Hospital had direct expenditures of more than $111 million in 2006. 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 $275 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. Since this reporting period in 2006, the economy has continued to decline and is in fact, much worse, than when this data was recorded.

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