In 2012, Southeast Georgia Health System hospitals in Glynn and Camden
counties generated more than
$533,960,758 in revenue for the local and state economy according to a recent report
by the Georgia Hospital Association, the state’s largest hospital
trade association. The report also found that, during the same period,
Southeast Georgia Health System hospitals provided approximately $28,792,050
in uncompensated care while sustaining more than 1,464 full and part-time
jobs. (This number does not include team members in the Health System’s
two Senior Care Centers or the strategic affiliates, which include four
Family Medicine Centers, three Immediate Care Centers and 43 physician
The report revealed that Southeast Georgia Health System had direct expenditures
of more than $233,721,771 in 2012. When combined with the an economic
multiplier developed by the United States Department of Commerce’s
Bureau of Economic Analysis, the total economic impact of those expenditures was more
$533,960,758. This output multiplier considers the "ripple" effect of direct
hospital expenditures on other sectors of the economy, such as medical
supplies, durable medical equipment and pharmaceuticals. Economic multipliers
are used to model the resulting impact of a change in one industry on
the "circular flow" of spending within an economy as a whole.
"This new report shows that, as the state’s economy continued
its slow rebound from years of economic downturn, Southeast Georgia Health
System maintained an enormous positive impact on our local economy,"
says Gary R. Colberg, FACHE, President & CEO of the Health System.
"We thank our communities for their unwavering support of our hospitals
and will continue to work hard to ensure that the residents of our communities
have access to health care services that are second to none in safety,
quality and affordability."
While Southeast Georgia Health System remains a major component of the
area’s economic engine, the Health System’s leadership, like
the rest of the Georgia health systems and hospital community, is concerned
about a wide array of economic challenges that have made it increasingly
difficult to meet health care needs including continued cuts in Medicare
and Medicaid payments and a fast-growing uninsured population. Presently,
42 percent of all hospitals in Georgia are operating with negative margins.
"We’re extremely concerned with the current operating environment
for hospitals," says Colberg. "We’ve made a commitment
to every citizen of the communities we serve to be on call for them 24
hours a day, 365 days a year. However, our ability to do so is being compromised
when a growing number of our patients are either uninsured or severely
According to Colberg, state lawmakers must work to protect the state’s
health care system with the same fervor that they do other initiatives
like education and public utilities.
"Our local health care system is indispensable," Colberg says.
"It is not only the primary guardian of health in our community,
it is also a major economic engine that is responsible for 2,269 jobs
and is one of the key building blocks for everything else in our community
including education and economic vitality. It is our hope that our elected
lawmakers will do what is necessary to protect our local health care system
and preserve access to health care for every resident of southeast Georgia."