2017 projected impact $6.6 billion

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The direct and indirect statewide economic impact of WVU Healthcare hospitals and clinics, West Virginia United Health System hospitals, and the five health schools at West Virginia University is measured in billions of dollars and thousands of jobs.
A report released today by hospital executives and university leaders details the current (2012) and projected (2017) economic, employment, and government revenue impact on West Virginia.
The organizations have a direct annual impact of $2.6 billion on the state economy and support nearly 12,200 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions. By 2017, the direct annual impact is expected to increase by more than $500 million and add an additional 1,079 FTE jobs.
“It’s clear that we have become a significant engine driving West Virginia’s economic growth,” WVU Chancellor for Health Sciences Christopher C. Colenda, M.D., M.P.H., said. “We’re doing this through our hospitals and clinics in more than 35 cities and small towns throughout the state and by educating the health professionals of the future and encouraging them to live and practice in the state.”
The report was commissioned by WVU Healthcare and conducted by Tripp Umbach, a nationally recognized consulting firm that has completed similar studies for more than 200 leading healthcare organizations and state government agencies.
According to Tripp Umbach, when the indirect impact is added, the 2012 figure for total employment impact is 20,725 FTEs and the economic impact jumps to more than $5.4 billion.
Direct economic impact is defined as the sum of total expenditures for capital, goods and services, and spending by staff, patients, and visitors.
“The indirect impact is from those first-round expenditures, which is received as income by local businesses and local individuals then recirculated through the economy in successive rounds of re-spending,” Carrie Kennedy, Tripp Umbach principal project director, said. “The end result is a multiplied economic impact. It is sort of like a rock hitting a pond. The initial spend with local companies ripples out to other local companies -- generating additional economic impact for the state.”
The report shows that the hospitals of the West Virginia United Health System (WVUHS) have the greatest operational impact, with WVU Healthcare in Morgantown leading the way at $2.1 billion and more than 7,000 employees. That’s followed by Camden Clark Medical Center in Parkersburg ($988 million), United Hospital Center in Harrison County ($876 million), and WVU Hospitals-East in Martinsburg and Ranson ($568 million).
The various practice plans for WVU faculty physicians and other health professionals including University Health Associates in Morgantown and the Eastern Panhandle, and University Physicians of Charleston, have a reported $507 million impact. The schools of WVU Health Sciences (Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Public Health) create $338 million in impact.
“Nearly a quarter of all hospital patients in the state get their care at a West Virginia United Health System hospital,” Tom Jones, CEO of the WVUHS, said. “Even better news is that we are positioned well to handle anything that comes our way with healthcare reform. Our goal is to continue to serve every West Virginian who comes to us for care.”
Other key findings for 2012:
  •     $1 in every $12.60, or approximately 7.9 percent of the state’s economy, is generated by WVU Healthcare, WVUHS hospitals, and WVU Health Sciences-related entities.
  •     WVU-related health entities generated more than $321.8 million in direct impact on the state economy thanks to out-of-state patients getting care here.
  •     WVU-related health entities and their employees paid more than $95 million in taxes directly to the state and generated more than $483 million in state tax revenue.
“Improving the health of West Virginians and eliminating health disparities is at the heart of our land-grant mission,” WVU President Jim Clements said. “Based on this report, it’s clear that we are providing trained healthcare professionals, quality medical services, ground breaking research, and economic opportunity to the people of West Virginia.”
The entire “Economic Impact of WVU-Related Health Activities” can be found online: http://wvuhealthcare.com/wvuh/Content/About/WVU-Healthcare-Economic-Impact-2012.


-- WVU Health --
For more information: Amy Johns, Director of Public Affairs, 304-293-7087
alj: 03-21-13