WHA Report Shows Health Care’s Ties to Economic Vitality

January 09, 2020

Already known for providing high-quality health care that helps keep a community’s population healthy, a new economic impact report WHA released Jan. 7, “Healthy Hospitals. Healthy Communities,” shows that high-quality health care also boosts a community’s economic health. 

Building upon a similar report published in 2015, the 2020 report looks beyond the hospital walls and examines the broader impacts of local and regional Wisconsin health systems on the state’s economy. The 2020 report was authored in partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Extension’s Department of Agriculture and Applied Economics, who produced the data analysis for this year’s report.

“Hospitals and health care systems rank as one of the state’s largest employers and strongest economic drivers,” WHA President and CEO Eric Borgerding said in this press release announcing the study. “Wisconsin can retain and attract talented people to our state because the health care sector provides family-supporting jobs across a wide spectrum of education and skills – from high school to an advanced degree.”

Some of the study’s findings include:
  • The health care sector directly employs more than 327,000 people in the state. And when considering the “ripple effect” of other economic sectors interacting with health care, the overall number of jobs attributed to the health care sector is approximately 571,900 jobs – more than 15% of all Wisconsin employment.
  • Patients from other states seeking Wisconsin’s high-quality care spent $2.3 billion on hospital services in 2017. For every $1 million in spending from out-of-state patients, 13 new jobs (total impact) are created. 
  • The health care sector pays more than $3 billion in taxes to state and local governments, helping to support our schools and vital government programs.
WHA has provided a tool on its website to help its members share local economic impacts. For more information contact WHA Senior Vice President, Finance and Chief Operating Officer Brian Potter or Vice President, Communications Mark Grapentine.

This story originally appeared in the January 09, 2020 edition of WHA Newsletter