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White Paper: Beyond Patient Care: Economic Impact of Pennsylvania Hospitals, Fiscal Year 2021

Whitepaper: Beyond Patient Care: Economic Impact of Pennsylvania Hospitals, FY 2021Introduction

Hospitals are vital to Pennsylvania communities.

They provide around-the-clock care for all people, regardless of ability to pay. During 2020, that included:

  • 1.4 million inpatient discharges
  • 4.9 million emergency department visits
  • 37.9 million outpatient visits
  • 40,650 staffed beds
  • 123,376 births

But hospitals’ critical role extends beyond patient care. Pennsylvania hospitals support their communities by:

  • Employing staff, building infrastructure, and purchasing equipment and supplies
  • Supporting other industries such as facilities, grounds, and fleet maintenance
  • Generating additional economic activity in sectors such as construction, financial services, and hospitality
  • Educating and training the next generation of clinicians to care for Pennsylvanians
  • Attracting billions in federal research funding for health care innovation
  • Providing charity care to Pennsylvanians when they need it most
  • Addressing community health needs and, absent a public hospital system, providing critical public health infrastructure to address emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic

This analysis examines how, even during the continued strain of the pandemic, ballooning expenses, and other pressures that threaten hospitals’ long-term financial sustainability, the hospital community continued its vital economic role regionally and across the state. It demonstrates that the viability of hospitals is critical to the health and economies of the commonwealth and its communities.

Findings from this paper should be used to inform policy discussions surrounding topics that affect long-term hospital sustainability. This includes, but is not limited to, fair payments for hospitals, adequate Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, support to bolster Pennsylvania’s health care workforce, behavorial health access, health equity, streamlining prior authorization, telemedicine payment, credentialing process improvements, and medical liability reforms.



Topics: Federal Advocacy, Regulatory Advocacy, State Advocacy

Revision Date: 9/29/2022

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