Press Release

Analysis Highlights Economic Contribution of Hospitals to Communities

As more Americans worry about a slowing economy, a new study highlights the important role hospitals play in supporting a strong and stable economy.  Hospitals employ more than five million people and rank second as a source of private sector jobs, according to a report released today at the American Hospital Association's (AHA) annual meeting in Washington.  But hospitals and hospital employees also purchase goods and services from other businesses supporting additional jobs and economic activity in their community and across the country.
"Hospitals provide so much for a community," said Rich Umbdenstock president and CEO of the AHA.  "In addition to caring for the sick, hospitals provide jobs, good wages and benefits in the communities they serve.  The commitment of hospitals extends beyond its four walls to their communities through outreach and wellness programs and economic promotion and support."

Today's TrendWatch report, which was prepared by Avalere Health, LLC, found that hospitals:

  • Employ over five million people;
  • Directly or indirectly support one of every ten jobs in the U.S.;
  • Remain a stable source of employment, even during times of economic stress; and
  • Support nearly $1.9 trillion of economic activity.
  • Also included is a detailed state-by-state analysis of the economic contributions hospitals make to the communities they serve. 

In addition to economic benefits, hospitals provide a number of special programs and services to communities to help meet their health needs.  These programs include health screenings, subsidized health services, programs to address social needs of the communities, clinical research and other social services.

Hospitals also provide health care services for free or at a reduced cost for patients with limited financial means.  In 2006 alone, hospitals provided over $31 billion in uncompensated care to patients and communities across America.

A full copy of the TrendWatch report can be found at /trendwatch/2008/twapr2008econcontrib.pdf.

About the AHA

The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, other providers of care and 43,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA website at

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