In 2011, Wayne Memorial Hospital in Jesup generated more than $100,695,505 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 that, during the same time period, Wayne Memorial provided approximately $5,062,883 in uncompensated care while sustaining more than 818 full-time jobs throughout Jesup and the rest of the state.
The report revealed that the hospital had direct expenditures of more than $44,076,208 in 2011. When combined with the 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 $100,696,000. 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 that, even in these difficult economic times, Wayne Memorial has an enormous positive impact on our local economy,” said Joe Ierardi, CEO of Wayne Memorial. “We thank the Jesup, Wayne County and surrounding areas’ unwavering support of their local hospital and will continue to work hard to ensure that the citizens of this community have access to health care services that are second to none in quality and affordability.”
While the 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 health care needs including continued cuts in Medicare and Medicaid payments and a fast-growing uninsured 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 Ierardi. “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 is being compromised when, in many cases, we’re seeing an increasing number of uninsured patients while the state is paying us far less than what it actually costs to treat Medicaid patients.”
According to Ierardi, state lawmakers must work to protect the state’s health care system with the
“Our local health care system is indispensable,” said Ierardi. “It is the primary guardian of health in our community and is the key building block for everything else in our community including education and economic vitality. It is our hope that, even in these challenging economic times, that 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 Jesup, Wayne County and surrounding communities.”