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May 15-- In 2017, Meadows Health in Vidalia generated $278,530,849 in revenue for the local and state economy, according to a recently released report by the Georgia Hospital Association.

.The organization had direct expenditures of more than $119,000,000 in 2017. When combined with an economic multiplier developed by the United States Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, the total economic impact of those expenditures was $278,530,849. 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, Meadows Regional Medical Center provided $7,438,256 in uncompensated care while sustaining more than 971 full-time jobs throughout Vidalia and the rest of the state. When a US Department of Commerce multiplier is applied to the jobs number, it is revealed that an additional 2,400 jobs are supported across the state due to the economic activity of Meadows. The hospital spent $75,928,625 directly in salaries and benefits, resulting in total household earnings in the community of $149,457,905.

“Meadows Health’s mission is not only to provide quality health care, but also to serve as an economic engine for our community,” said Alan Kent, President & CEO. “We are proud to partner with Vidalia, Toombs, and Montgomery Counites to offer quality health care services. As a leading employer, we are dedicated to improving lives in our community and entire region.”

“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,” Kent 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.”

Meadows Regional Medical Center 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.

According to Kent, 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 to 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,” said Kent. “A healthy community depends on the strength of its hospital, in treating patients as well as financially.”

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