Moultrie Observer

Local News

September 18, 2013

Colquitt Regional Medical Center has $149 million impact

MOULTRIE — In 2011, Colquitt Regional Medical Center in Moultrie generated more than $149 million in revenue for the local and state economy, according to a recent report by the Georgia Hospital Association (GHA).

The GHA is the state’s largest hospital trade association. During that same time period, the report also found that Colquitt Regional provided more than $8 million in uncompensated care while sustaining 738 full- and part-time jobs.

The report revealed that Colquitt Regional had direct expenditures of more than $65 million in 2011. When combined with the 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, even in difficult economic times, Colquitt Regional has an enormous positive impact on our local economy,” said Jim Matney, president and CEO of Colquitt Regional. “We thank the Colquitt County community for their unwavering support of their local hospital. We will continue to work hard to ensure that the citizens of this community have access to health care services that are second to none in quality and affordability.”

Matney continued, “It is the hospital’s strategy to shop locally and boost our community’s economy. This includes moving our financial accounts to local banks and using local vendors as much as possible.”

He continued, “With our renovation construction project, we are using many local businesses in all trades to complete the work. From floor installation to electrical engineering, our goal is to utilize and stimulate our local economy. We are a community hospital and we want as much partnership with the community as possible.”

While Colquitt Regional 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 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. Presently, more than a third of all hospitals in Georgia are operating with negative margins, Matney said.

“We are extremely concerned with the current operating environment for hospitals,” said Matney. “We have 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.”

According to Matney, state lawmakers must work to protect the state’s health care system with the same fervor that they do other initiatives like education and public utilities.

“Our local health care system is indispensable,” said Matney. “It is the primary guardian of health in our community and is the key building block for everything else in our community including education and economic vitality. It is our hope that, even in these challenging economic times, our elected lawmakers will do what is necessary to protect our local health care system and preserve access to health care for every resident of Colquitt County.”

 

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