Hospitals tout economic impact on region

The Delaware Valley Healthcare Council, the local chapter of Pennsylvania’s hospital association, is urging state and federal lawmakers to boost health spending to sustain the economic benefits of hospitals here.

A report from the group claimed that hospitals here are “primary economic drivers” that account for more than 200,000 jobs and pumped $26.2 billion into the economy of the five-county region.

“Hospital employment is holding steady at a time when unemployment for the region is at the highest level in the last 20 years,” said Kenneth Braithwaite, regional executive for the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania. “In addition to serving as economic anchors for their communities, hospitals are centers of innovation, education, and research that fuel the growth of education and life sciences sectors so crucial to this region.”

The council’s report found that hospitals here attracted some $688 million in federal research funding from the National Institutes of Health and nearly $400 million in venture capital for biotechnology and medical device companies in the region.

Medicaid “budgets must be increased, not cut,” Braithwaite said.

Click here to see a full copy of the hospital group’s report.