In 2012, Mayo Clinic Health System in Waycross generated more than $276 million in revenue for the local and state economy according to a recent report by the Georgia Hospital Association, the state’s largest hospital trade association. The report also found that, during the same time period, the health system provided $17 million in uncompensated care while sustaining more than 1,278 full-time jobs throughout Waycross and the rest of the state.
The report revealed that the hospital had direct expenditures of more than $79 million in 2012. When combined with the an economic multiplier developed by the United States Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, the total economic impact of those expenditures was more than $149 million.
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, as the state’s economy continued its slow rebound from years of economic downturn, Mayo Clinic Health System in Waycross has maintained an enormous positive impact on our local economy,” said Kenneth T. Calamia, M.D., CEO of the Waycross hospital. “We are very appreciative for Ware and Pierce County’s support of their local hospital, and we will continue to work hard to ensure that the residents of this area have access to the best and safest health care services available.”
While Mayo Clinic Health System in Waycross remains a major component of the area’s economic engine, the hospital’s leadership, like the rest of the Georgia hospital community, is concerned about the array of economic challenges that make it increasingly difficult to meet the community’s health care needs, including continued cuts in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements and a growing uninsured population. Presently, 42 percent of all hospitals in Georgia are operating with negative margins. “We’re concerned about the current operating environment for hospitals,” said Dr. Calamia. “But we have a commitment to every citizen of this community and a moral responsibility to be available to them when needed.”
“Our local health care system is indispensable,” said Dr. Calamia. “It is not only the primary guardian of health in our community, but it is a major economic engine in this area that is responsible for almost 3000 jobs. Everyone must be aware of the need for continued support and protection our local health care system and preserve access for every resident of our communities. Utilizing the great health care resources right here at home whenever possible, rather than leaving the community, is the best way to provide that support.”