— DANVILLE – Through salary and wages to its employees, Geisinger Health System contributed $7.4 billion dollars in 2013 to the regional economies across its Pennsylvania service areas.
This is an increase of $1.3 billion over 2012, when Geisinger’s economic impact was measured at $6.1 billion.
Frank Trembulak, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Geisinger Health System, credits the increase to the continued growth of Geisinger.
“As we grow we expend more resources in the market and enhance that ripple effect into other businesses,” he said.
The health system’s latest acquisition was Lewistown Hospital. This contributed to the larger impact, as did the development of clinical programs at other Geisinger facilities and increased workforce size at many sites, including Danville’s Geisinger Medical Center.
The health system employs a more than 21,000 people and supports more than 36,000 Pennsylvania jobs.
The economic impact is calculated by the Hospital and Health System Association of Pennsylvania and is based on annual expenses and revenues generated.
The calculation ultimately represents the ripple effect of Geisinger into the larger market.
“If we have 21,000 people employed and we’re paying salary and wages, they’re out buying goods in the market,” Trembulak said. “That has a ripple effect in the communities in which they live.”
The rising costs of healthcare do color the results somewhat, Trembulak said. As the price of drugs and medical supplies goes up, so does the cost of labor.
While the final calculation for economic impact is affected slightly by inflation, “a majority is associated with growth,” Trembulak said.
While Trembulak could not guess as to what Geisinger’s economic impact in the commonwealth would be for 2014, he expects Geisinger operations to continue to grow and therefore have a greater ripple in the marketplace.
Geisinger is currently exploring a merger with Cumberland County’s Holy Spirit Health System.
Geisinger also recently signed a definitive agreement with New Jersey’s AtlantiCare health system to become a part of Geisinger.
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