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National Hospital Week-The Economic Impact In Iowa

National Hospital Week is an annual event of seven days to recognize the 5,000 hospital, health systems and networks in the United States, as well as the more than 6 million people who provide care to individuals in communities.

Hospitals play a huge role in the economic health of the state.  According to the Iowa Hospital Association, in Iowa alone, there are 123 hospitals in 90 counties, paying $5.7 billion in wages and benefits to the 77,000 people employed in Iowa hospitals. Another 145 thousand additional jobs are supported by Iowa hospitals.  One in 21 nonfarm-employed Iowans work for hospitals.

“For Veterans Memorial Hospital, we have a payroll of just over $17,000,000 that has an economic impact of just over $50,000,000 in NE Iowa,” stated Michael Coyle, CEO of Veterans Memorial Hospital.  “VMH completes about 55,000 outpatient visits per year which allows our patients and their families to have lower healthcare costs while receiving outstanding patient care locally.”

Iowa hospitals contribute $21.5 billion to Iowa’s economy which is 12% of the state’s gross domestic product.  One-billion dollars is provided annually in community benefits around the state, with $286 million provided in charity care last year.

In total, Iowa hospitals served 16.6 million outpatient visits, 298,000 hospital admissions, 1.3 million were treated in emergency departments and 36,000 babies were born all last year.

Iowa’s hospitals continue to face significant financial and workforce challenges.  Currently, over 10,000 job openings exist across the state, with 30% of them in nursing plus  lab, x-ray and ultrasonography being additional critical shortage areas.  In the last four years, supply costs have increased 19%, contracted labor 27%, pharmaceuticals 60%, payroll and benefits 27% and overall expenses 28%.

National Hospital Week is held in May of each year to thank hospitals for their service as well as the financial impact they have on all area communities.