New Report Details Impact Hospitals Have On Local Economies

Thu 4-1-2021

(Spirit Lake)-- A new report just out from the Iowa Hospital Association talks about the impact healthcare has on the local economy. Locally, the report shows Lakes Regional Healthcare generates 941 jobs that add $21.3 million to the local economy. In turn, it shows LRH employees spend $7.1 million on retail sales and contribute $429,000 in state sales tax revenue.

Lakes Regional Healthcare President and CEO Jason Harrington says those numbers speak volumes of the impact the facility has on the local economy...LRH Economic Impact01 

"I think as you look at, you know, our total payroll, retail sales, our contributions to local and state sales tax, that number is approximately 21.3 million. We employ about 350 employees directly, and then as you kind of extrapulate that out it equates to another probably 140 jobs that are indirectly associated with Lakes Regional Healthcare. So we're very proud of that and proud to be a large employer in the community. And I think oftentimes we miss the opportunity to share that story."

Harrington adds LRH provides other benefits to the community as well, including what's known as “charity care”...LRH Economic Impact02 

"You know as a community hospital one of the things I'm very proud of and as a county hospital is that, you know, we're required to see everybody that enters our door, regardless if they're able to pay. So every given year we provide what we would refer to as charity care. And in the last year we provided over a million dollars in charity care for those that were unable to pay us for that service. So we're proud to be able to do that, we're proud to serve everyone in the community and that's our obligation and responsibility and certainly that's why we're here."

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 Amerian Hospital Association's annual survey of hospitals and with software that other industries have used to determine their economic impact.