UHCS generates more than $1 billion for state, local economy

University Health Care System generated more than $1 billion in revenue for the local and state economy in 2017, according to a recent report by the Georgia Hospital Association, the state’s largest hospital trade association. The report also noted that University Health Care System provided nearly $37 million in uncompensated care while sustaining nearly 12,000 full-time jobs throughout Augusta and the rest of the state.

The GHA report noted that University Health Care System, which includes University Hospital and University Hospital McDuffie, had direct expenditures of more than $462 million in 2017. Combined with an economic multiplier developed by the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, the total economic impact of those expenditures was more than $1 billion. The multiplier considers the “ripple” effect of the hospital’s 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.

“University Health Care System is proud to be an economic force in our community,” said James Davis, president and CEO of University Health Care System. “More importantly, we are proud to be a mission-driven health system dedicated to providing high-quality care to improve the health of those we serve.  University also understands the high cost of care, and we work very hard to keep our costs as low as possible to help make care affordable in our region.”

University Health Care System has invested millions of dollars in the past five years to open new Primary Care and Prompt Care access points in Evans, South Augusta, North Augusta and Aiken, Mr. Davis explained. “As Augusta’s only locally owned not-for-profit hospital, University reinvests all revenue in excess of expenses back into the hospital and satellite facilities to ensure all residents have access to the latest technology. We are easily one of the best-equipped health systems in the state.”

University Hospital will this year complete a more than $34 million, three-year reconstruction project to expand and renovate its Emergency Department, a facility initially designed to care for 50,000 patients a year, yet hit a record high of 85,000 patients in 2016.

“That's all the motivation we need to give it our all every day. I am proud to be a part of a mission-driven organization like University that has provided care to this community for more than 200 years,” Mr. Davis said.