DeKalb Medical Economic Impact Report
August 16, 2013
In 2011 DeKalb Medical generated more than $788 million 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, DeKalb Medical provided approximately $32 million in uncompensated care while sustaining more than 5,428 full-time jobs throughout DeKalb County and the rest of the state.
The report revealed that DeKalb Medical – which includes three campuses – had direct expenditures of more than $345 million 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 $788 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.
“This new report shows that, even in these difficult economic times, DeKalb Medical has an enormous positive impact on our local economy,” CEO and President John Shelton, FACHE said. “We thank the DeKalb County and surround communities’ unwavering support of their local hospitals 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 DeKalb Medical 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,” Shelton said. “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 Shelton, state lawmakers must work to protect the state’s health care system with the same fervor that they do other initiatives like education and public utilities.
“Our local health care system is indispensable,” he said. “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 DeKalb County and its surrounding communities.”
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About DeKalb Medical
Founded in 1961, DeKalb Regional Health System, Inc., known as DeKalb Medical, is comprised of more than 800 doctors skilled in 55 medical specialties across three campuses. The 627-bed system includes DeKalb Medical at North Decatur (451 beds), DeKalb Medical Long Term Acute Care at Downtown Decatur (76 beds), DeKalb Medical at Hillandale (100 beds), and DeKalb Medical Physicians Group and the DeKalb Medical Foundation. The not-for-profit health care system is a HealthGrades® Five-Star Recipient for Treatment of Heart Attack in 2013 and Five-Star Recipient for Peripheral Vascular Bypass in 2012. Our Maternity Center was selected as a participant in the Best Fed Beginnings project as part of UNICEF/WHO’s Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative. Our Cancer Center has been granted three-year approval by The Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons as a community hospital comprehensive oncology program, and our Joint Solutions Center is a metro Atlanta leader in joint replacement. In addition, our LTAC earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for acquired brain injury, wound care and respiratory failure services. Visit www.dekalbmedical.org.