Hospitals Spread Health, Economic Vitality Across Oregon

You already know that hospitals provide vital, often life-saving care to Oregonians across the state. Now there’s more evidence that hospitals also play an important role in the economic vitality of the communities they serve.

According to a new report by ECONorthwest commissioned by the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems (OAHHS), Oregon’s 62 community hospitals accounted for $20.9 billion in economic output in 2017. Hospitals truly are one of Oregon’s economic engines.

OAHHS leaders were not surprised by the findings of the report, including the insight on both rural and urban impact “From the ranches of Harney County to the urban centers of the metro Portland area, hospitals bring jobs and economic vitality to Oregon,” said Andy Van Pelt, OAHHS executive vice president.

To read the full report, click here.

As the report shows, hospitals are major employers in our state and in many cases a community’s largest employer. They support 137,839 direct and secondary jobs, meaning that more than one in 20 Oregon jobs is connected to hospitals and health systems. In addition to the total economic impact, hospitals contributed more than $12 billion to the Gross State Product (GSP). Hospitals are an important source of family wage jobs in parts of the state where they are needed. “They provide thousands of the types of middle-wage jobs that are disappearing in other industries,” said John Tapogna, president of ECONorthwest.

Medicaid Expansion Good for the Economy

The ECONorthwest analysis also said Oregon’s expanded Medicaid program, which now covers one in four Oregonians, has been good the state’s economy as well. Many of the Medicaid dollars come to Oregon from outside the state and enable Oregon Health Plan members to receive care, often at a community hospital. That brings jobs and revenue to the region.

Those well-paying hospital jobs are a major source of tax revenue for the state, generating almost $700 million in state and local taxes directly or indirectly.

The ECONorthwest study was commissioned by OAHHS and utilizes state-specific data from the American Hospital Association.