Health-care industry has big impact on state economy

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Print this page by Robert Powell

Health care is a big industry in Virginia. The following pages offer a peak at the recent performance of major hospitals, nursing homes, health and accident insurance companies, and life insurers operating in the commonwealth.

Virginia’s hospitals and health systems had an economic impact of $28 billion in 2011, according to a study by the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA) released last December. That figure includes $15.4 billion in direct spending on employee pay and capital expenses plus another $12.6 billion in indirect spending by other businesses and individuals.

VHHA members employed nearly 147,000 in 2011 in hospitals, ambulatory care centers and nursing homes.  (Employees in physicians’ offices were not included.) The economic activity of those workers in turn supported the employment of another 68,000 people across the state.

The region with the most employees tied directly or indirectly to VHHA facilities is Central Virginia, with 68,567 jobs. It was followed by Hampton Roads with 50,276 jobs; Northern Virginia with 35,770; the Shenandoah Valley (including Roanoke), 34,869; Southern Virginia with 13,487; and Southwest Virginia with 10,936.

Health-care and social assistance workers make up 12 percent of the commonwealth’s labor force. Of that 12 percent, 35 percent of them are employed in ambulatory care centers, 28 percent in hospitals and 18 percent in nursing homes.

In addition to the economic impact, hospitals and health systems contributed $2.4 billion in community benefit to the commonwealth. Community benefit includes nearly $550 million in charity care and $303 million in Medicaid shortfall. The medical facilities also paid $179 million in taxes.

The top hospital list on page 125 shows three Virginia hospitals had net patient revenue of more than $1 billion in 2011: Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, VCU Health System in Richmond and University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville.

Other hospitals in the top 10 include: Carilion Medical Center in Roanoke, Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, CJW Medical Center in Richmond, Valley Health Winchester Medical Center, Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg, Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital in Richmond and Centra Health in Lynchburg.

New to Virginia Business this year is a list of the 25 nursing homes with the highest net patient revenue. The list ranges from the 120-bed Burke Health Care Center in Fairfax County with just under $15 million in revenue to the 307-bed Woodbine Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Alexandria with $30.7 million.

New York-based Metropolitan Life Insurance remained the leading life insurer in terms of Virginia premiums with $233 million in 2011. Likewise, Anthem Health Plans is the top health insurer with $4 billion in premiums.

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