In 2017, Liberty Regional Medical Center in Hinesville generated $69,218,102 in revenue for the local and state economy, according to a recently released report by the Georgia Hospital Association, the state’s largest hospital trade association.
Liberty Regional had direct expenditures of more than $29,596,828 in 2017. The total economic impact of those expenditures was $69,218,102 when combined with an economic multiplier developed by the United States Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis. 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.
During the same time period, LRMC provided approximately $3,905,151 in uncompensated care while sustaining more than 482 full-time jobs throughout Hinesville and Georgia. When a U.S. Department of Commerce multiplier is applied to the jobs number, it is revealed that an additional 1,192 jobs are supported across the state due to the economic activity of Liberty Regional. The hospital spent $19,584,383 in salaries and benefits, resulting in total household earnings in the community of $38,549,899.
“The mission of Liberty Regional Medical Center is not only to provide quality health care, but also to serve as an economic engine for our community,” said Tammy Mims, the hospitals’ new CEO. “We are proud to offer quality health care services right here at home. As a leading employer in our region, we are dedicated to improving lives.”
Liberty Regional is a major component of the area’s economic strength; however, the hospital’s leadership, like the rest of the Georgia hospital community, is concerned about economic challenges that affect the hospital’s ability to deliver timely and efficient care. A fast-growing uninsured population and inadequate payments from government insurance programs like Medicare and Medicaid have made it increasingly difficult to meet the community’s health care needs. In 2017, 44 percent of all hospitals in Georgia operated with negative total margins.
“Our hospital is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is dedicated to ensuring our residents receive state-of-the art health care services,” Mims said. “We are constantly challenged with making sure each patient receives quality care regardless of ability to pay. This environment often puts financial stress on our state’s hospitals.”
According to the CEO, every community needs nearby access to a strong, vibrant health care system that will not only meet the health care needs of its residents, but also attract other industries and businesses to the area.
“Preserving access to health care is extremely important and we are the primary guardian of health in our community,” Mims said. “A healthy community depends on the strength of its hospital, both financially and in treating patients.”