Current Report Articles
Presidents Perspective – Hospitals Continue to Make an Impact on Kansas Economies

economic impact news (Jan. 21, 2022) – The last couple of years have undoubtedly been challenging. New data is available depicting the early impacts of COVID-19 on the Kansas economy. The Kansas Hospital Association has worked again with the Office of Local Government, K-State Research and Extension, to produce The Importance of the Health Care Sector to the Kansas Economy.

The report highlights something I have not seen since we started producing this report, a slight decline in health care employment in 2020 both in Kansas and nationally. As might be expected, everything took a hit in the second quarter of 2020 when the nation shut down due to COVID-19. By the end of 2020, some health care sectors still had not recovered to beginning of the year status.

With that said, the health care sector continues to employ more than 240,000 people and remains the third largest aggregate employer in Kansas. Kansas hospitals alone still employ nearly 100,000 people or five percent of all jobholders in the state. These jobs are essential to serving our communities but also have a ripple effect on the Kansas economy. For every job in a Kansas hospital, nearly an additional job (.95) was created in other businesses and industries in the state. Kansas hospitals have a total impact of 192,578 jobs.

According to the report, hospitals generated approximately $7.5 billion in total income. For every $1 of income generated by hospitals, another $.63 is generated in other businesses and industries in the state's economy. As a result, hospitals have an estimated total impact on income throughout all business and industry of nearly $12.3 billion. Funds spent to buy goods and services flow from hospitals to businesses and ripple throughout the economy. The impact generates nearly $4 billion on area retail sales in the Kansas economy each year. Additionally, the hospital sector generates more than $262 million in state sales tax. The state uses these critical funds for important programs such as education and transportation.

Kansas hospitals continue to focus on their missions of providing quality care to their communities, but this study reminds us that hospitals are major employers and business partners throughout the state as well. Kansas community hospitals help to not only stabilize the population base but also invigorate their communities and contribute significantly to the quality of life. As we continue to look for opportunities to enhance our state's economy, a strong health care system, anchored by well-supported community hospitals, is essential.

This report will be shared with our elected officials and the public in the coming weeks. We encourage our members to use this information as you discuss the economic impact of hospitals with your staff, boards and communities.
--Chad Austin