Missouri hospitals’ day-to-day operations and capital spending directly and indirectly supported nearly 310,000 jobs in Missouri, and deliver more than $19.3 billion in labor income, wages and benefits to Missourians.

In addition, more than $27.1 billion in Missouri gross state product — approximately 10 percent of total GSP — can be linked to hospitals, according to research from David Mitchell, Ph.D., professor of economics at Missouri State University in Springfield.

“The importance of hospitals to a person’s and a community’s health is self-evident,” Mitchell said. “What this report demonstrates is just how essential hospitals are to the economic health of the state, counties and local communities.

“Furthermore, with advances in medical technology curing more diseases and conditions, Missouri’s changing demographic patterns, and other matters on the horizon, this economic impact on the state and local community from hospitals is only going to grow in size over time.”

In the communities they serve, hospitals underpin individual, community and economic health. Hospitals provide a lifeline to emergency care, support a network of health care providers and offer a 24/7 safety net to care for those without access.

Leading Employers

At the same time, they are economic drivers. Hospitals often are the leading employer in a community, they are a valued asset to individuals considering expanding or relocating a business, and their spending on local goods and services creates jobs and economic activity throughout the economy.

“Hospitals help support a recession-resistant economic foundation for communities — much of health care delivery is and will remain local,” said Steven D. Edwards, president and CEO of CoxHealth, based in Springfield, and MHA board chair.

“In addition to these benefits, a strong system of hospitals throughout the state improves productivity, supports wages for local employees, and contributes to improved health and quality of life,” he said.

Hospitals also contribute directly and indirectly to the local, state and federal governments, generating nearly $1.6 billion in taxes for Missouri government, while contributing $4.1 billion in taxes to the federal government.

“Hospitals often are the largest employer in the communities they serve,” said Dan Mehan, president and CEO of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “In cities small and large throughout the state, the value of hospital employment — and spending on infrastructure, equipment and supplies — has a significant economic impact on other businesses and the state’s workforce overall.”

Creating Jobs

Since 1990, health care-related employment in Missouri has doubled. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, of the 559,000 jobs created in Missouri since 1990, 212,000 — or more than one-third — have been in the health care sector.

“More than 10 percent of hospitals’ inpatient care and nearly 8 percent of outpatient care are provided to individuals who come to Missouri to receive health services,” said Missouri Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe. “Despite the unfortunate circumstances that may bring them to Missouri, these men, women and children go to restaurants, attend ball games, go to movies and explore Missouri’s beautiful scenery while they are here. In doing so, they support health care jobs, small businesses of all varieties and boost the local economy.”

Goods, Services

In terms of economic output — goods and services produced during a defined period — health care output has grown significantly throughout the past decade. Since 1997, health care output in Missouri has grown at roughly the same rate as in the U.S. — 38 percent nationally, and 32 percent in Missouri.

Missouri GSP only has grown 8 percent since 1997. At the same time, Missouri’s health care output has grown four times faster than total output in the state.

Throughout the past 20 years, the increasing value of output from health care has increased Missouri’s GSP by $7.36 billon — the equivalent of $1 of every $6 of increased GSP in the state.

“Hospitals and health care underpin the economies of the communities they serve,” said Herb B. Kuhn, MHA president and CEO. “The hospital workforce, capital investments in buildings and equipment, and purchases of supplies and services, all ripple through the state’s economy to create additional value.

“And, hospitals and health care have a footprint in nearly every Missouri community, which means that even the smallest of Missouri’s communities gain an economic boost.”

The Missouri Hospital Association is a not-for-profit association in Jefferson City that represents 142 Missouri hospitals.

In addition to representation and advocacy on behalf of its membership, the association offers continuing education programs on current health care topics and seeks to educate the public about health care issues.