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Iowa’s community hospitals generate more than 127,000 jobs that add nearly $6.8 billion to the state’s economy, according to the Iowa Hospital Association’s latest Iowa hospital economic impact report.  In addition, Iowa hospital employees by themselves spend more than $1.8 billion on retail sales and contribute more than $111 million in state sales tax revenue.

The IHA study examined the jobs, income, retail sales and sales tax produced by hospitals and the rest of the state’s health care sector.  The study was compiled from hospital-submitted data on the American Hospital Association’s Annual Survey of Hospitals and with software that other industries have used to determine their economic impact.

The study found that Iowa hospitals directly employ 72,008 people and create another 55,492 jobs outside the hospital sector.  As an income source, hospitals provide $4.5 billion in salaries and benefits and generate another $2.3 billion through other jobs that depend on hospitals.

In all, Iowa’s health care sector, which includes offices of physicians, dentists and other health practitioners, nursing home and residential care, other medical and health services and pharmacies, contributes $16.6 billion to the state economy while directly and indirectly providing 324,977 jobs, or about one-fifth of the state’s total non-farm employment.

“Through the many changes in health care, there is one certainty: That hospitals and health care are vital to Iowa’s economy,” said IHA president and CEO Kirk Norris. “With nearly 325,000 jobs, health care is one of Iowa’s largest employers, and hospitals remain, by far, the biggest contributor to that number. In Iowa cities and counties, hospitals are uniformly among the largest employers.

“As our political leaders in Washington, DC and Des Moines consider legislation and regulations that impact hospitals and health care, they need to keep these facts in mind. As providers of high-quality, low-cost health care, good jobs and economic stability, there is no replacement for community hospitals.”

Complete information from the study, including economic impact data for each of Iowa’s hospitals, is available on the IHA website.

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