Ga. Hospital Association reports RMC generates $205 million in revenue for local, state economy

A recently released report by the Georgia Hospital Association stated that, in 2011, Rockdale Medical Center generated more than $250 million in revenue for the local and state economy, according to a press release from RMC.

The Georgia Hospital Association, the state’s largest hospital trade association, generated the report.

The report also found that during the same time period, RMC provided approximately $7.9 million in uncompensated care while sustaining more than 1,912 full-time jobs throughout Conyers and the rest of the state.

The report revealed that RMC had direct expenditures of more than $109 million in 2011. When combined with an economic multiplier developed by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, the total economic impact of those expenditures was more than $250,636,112.

This output multiplier considers the “ripple” effect of direct hospital expenditures on other sectors of the economy, such as medical supplies, durable medical equipment and pharmaceuticals. Economic multipliers are used to model the resulting impact of a change in one industry on the “circular flow” of spending within an economy as a whole.

“This new report shows that, even in these difficult economic times, Rockdale Medical Center has an enormous positive impact on our local economy,” said Deborah Armstrong, CEO of Rockdale Medical Center, in a press release.

While RMC remains a major component of the area’s economic engine, the hospital’s leadership is concerned about a wide array of economic challenges that have made it increasingly difficult to meet the community’s health care needs including continued cuts in Medicare and Medicaid payments and a fast-growing uninsured population, according to the release.

Presently, more than a third of all hospitals in Georgia are operating with negative margins, said the release.

The release stated that Rockdale Medical Center is not in that position. The hospital’s partnership with LifePoint Hospital systems has allowed the institution to continue to operate with a positive margin while continuing to support economic development at the local level, said the release. In 2012, Rockdale Medical Center contributed over $2.5 million dollars to the local tax base.

“We’re extremely concerned with the current operating environment for hospitals,” said Armstrong, in the release. “We’ve made a commitment to every citizen of this community to be on call for them 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. But our ability to do so is being compromised when, in many cases, we’re seeing an increasing number of uninsured patients while the state is paying us far less than what it actually costs to treat Medicaid patients.”

Armstrong called Rockdale Medical Center “the primary guardian” of health in the community, which impacts all areas from education to the economy.

“It is our hope that, even in these challenging economic times, that our elected lawmakers will do what is necessary to protect our local health care system,” said Armstrong in the release.

Rockdale Medical Center is a 138-bed acute-care hospital that offers in-patient and out-patient services. RMC is part of LifePoint Hospitals, a hospital company with over 50 hospitals nationwide.