The health care sector has comprised an increasing share of contributions to Missouri’s gross state product, according to a report released by the Missouri Hospital Association.
The health care sector increased its contribution to the GSP from 3.12 percent in 1997 to 8.99 percent in 2012. Almost half of the contribution was from hospitals and nursing and residential care in 2012.
The study, prepared by the University of Missouri, also found that the Missouri economy was infused with more than $19 billion of value-added output by the state’s hospitals in 2012. Of that $19 billion, $8.8 billion was direct, and $10.5 billion was through indirect and induced output.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that “cardiology labs and cancer treatment centers are huge profit centers for hospitals.” It also reported that insurance pays less to primary care physicians, whose job is to maintain health, than to specialists, who save lives or intervene during a crisis. MHA’s report said as the industry moves forward, hospitals will be looking for ways to adopt and coordinate the “best practices of primary care.”
Overall, health care and social assistance ranks third as a contributor to Missouri productivity, falling behind manufacturing and real estate, rental and leasing, according to the report. However, manufacturing and real estate are widespread across the state, the report said. Meanwhile, 41 of the 115 counties in the state do not have a hospital.
Hospitals paid almost $1.4 billion in state and local taxes and more than $2.8 billion in federal taxes in 2012. The report also indicated that hospitals paid almost $7.5 billion in wages in 2012.
“Missourians understand that hospitals are important to the communities they serve — providing inpatient, outpatient and around-the-clock care in the emergency department,” Herb B. Kuhn, MHA president and CEO, said in a release. “However, hospitals also add value as large, stable employers in communities throughout the state. They generate billions of dollars in revenue, including federal funds to support Medicare and Medicaid patients and payment for care from out-of-state residents, that boost economic activity in all sectors of the economy while adding to local and state tax receipts.”