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Published on June 14, 2013

Abington Health is Critical to Community and Local Economy

All told, PA Hospitals exceed $100 billion impact, account for nearly 600,000 jobs in the state.

ABINGTON, PA (June 14, 2013)—Abington Health, one of the largest employers in Montgomery County, provides employment to 6,000 individuals in our region.  As a nonprofit organization, Abington Health provided more than $55 million in total community benefit.  This includes $28.9 million in charity care and subsidized health services provided by Abington Memorial Hospital and $4.3 million by Lansdale Hospital, as reported in the FY2011 990 filings.

“The second largest employer in Montgomery County, Abington Health is an economic anchor in our community and an important community resource which provides healing, health and hope,” said Laurence M. Merlis, president and CEO, Abington Health.  “We provide a safe haven and a safety net for our most vulnerable citizens.”

A report released by The Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) further demonstrates the annual contributions which area hospitals make to the region’s economy. At the Heart of Every Community:  The Community and Economic Impact of Pennsylvania’s Hospitals, shows both the human and fiscal impact of Pennsylvania’s hospitals – both non-profit and investor-owned – on communities across the state, as well as on the state as a whole.

The report, HAP’s first in two years and the first to incorporate newly available IRS Schedule H data, shows that in 2011 Pennsylvania’s non-profit hospitals provided more than $5 billion in charitable community benefits, and all hospitals – nonprofit and investor-owned combined – contributed nearly $98 billion to local and state economies.

“Pennsylvania’s hospitals and health systems are at the heart of every community,” said HAP President and CEO Andy Carter. “They have a positive and powerful impact on patients, families and communities.”

In 2011, Pennsylvania’s hospitals cared for patients during 1.6 million hospital admissions; 39 million visits in outpatient settings; 6 million emergency department visits; and delivered more than 124,000 babies. Abington Health accounted for 39,000 admissions, 653,000 outpatient visits, 134,000 emergency department visits and 5,000 births in FY 2012.

Statewide the $5.1 billion in charitable community benefits included more than $1 billion in charity care and bad debt; nearly $2 billion to subsidize care for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries; nearly $250 million in subsidized health services; $92 million in community health improvement services and programs in response to the health needs of their communities; more than $627 million in hospital-based education programs to train highly skilled health care professionals; nearly $975 million in research to cure illnesses and advance medical treatments and services; and more than $91 million in contributions and community-building activities.

The $98 billion in economic impact includes the support of more than 585,000 jobs—about one in ten jobs in Pennsylvania.

“Pennsylvania’s hospitals provide quality care and a safe haven for all Pennsylvanians, regardless of ability to pay,” HAP’s Carter said. “These charitable benefits are essential to protecting access to health care and preserving Pennsylvanians’ critical health care safety net.”

Carter warned, however, that the benefits documented in this report should not be taken for granted.

“Over the past several years, Pennsylvania’s hospitals have faced significant fiscal challenges,” Carter said. “The Affordable Care Act includes $8.1 billion in cuts to Pennsylvania hospitals’ Medicare and Medicaid payments over ten years. In addition, Pennsylvania’s hospitals are absorbing an additional $1.4 billion in Medicare cuts as a result of the “sequestration” cuts from Washington.

“And this year, Pennsylvania’s non-profit hospitals face an added threat to their charitable missions in the form of challenges to their tax-exempt status.

“It is imperative that government leaders, policymakers, and the public recognize and protect one of our state’s most vital community resources – Pennsylvania’s hospitals and health systems.

Carter added that Pennsylvania’s hospitals remain hopeful that Governor Corbett and the General Assembly will reach agreement on expanding the Medicaid program as envisioned by the Affordable Care Act.

“Expansion of Medicaid will support more than 35,000 jobs,” Carter said. “Most importantly, it will extend needed health care coverage to an additional 350,000 low-income, non-elderly Pennsylvanians.”

Under Medicaid expansion, the state’s uninsured rate would drop from its current 12.7% to 4.8% in 2016 (the first year of full penalties for non-compliance with the ACA insurance mandate).

Abington Health

Abington Health is the umbrella organization that encompasses its flagship hospital, Abington Memorial Hospital, in Abington and Lansdale Hospital in Hatfield Township. Abington Health entities also include convenient outpatient facilities, Abington Health Center – Schilling in Willow Grove and Abington Health Center – Warminster in Bucks County. Together, these facilities serve more than 39,000 inpatients, 134,000 emergency patients and over 653,000 outpatients annually. Also included is Abington Health Physicians, a network of employed specialists and primary care physicians. All told, Abington Health's medical staff consists of more than 1,400 primary care physicians and medical and surgical specialists, as well as over 125 physicians-in-training within five residency programs. Abington Health employs 6,100 employees, making it one of the largest employers in Montgomery County.

The Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania

HAP is a statewide membership services organization that advocates for nearly 240 Pennsylvania acute and specialty care, primary care, subacute care, long-term care, home health, and hospice providers, as well as the patients and communities they serve. Additional information about HAP is available online at www.haponline.org.

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