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Report: N.J. hospitals increased spending, income taxes in 2011

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The New Jersey Hospital Association’s annual economic impact report showed the state’s hospitals increased both spending and income taxes paid in 2011. Employment stayed relatively stable compared to 2010.

According to the NJHA, hospitals increased their overall contribution to the state’s economy by $900 million, from $18.6 billion in 2010 to $19.5 billion last year. They purchased more than $850 million worth of pharmaceuticals and more than $1.2 billion on contracted labor.

In terms of tax contributions, hospital employees paid $435 million in state income taxes, and the hospitals themselves paid $132 million in taxes, fees and assessments.

The data showed, in 2011, Hackensack University Medical Center had the largest full-time employee work force, with 6,694 employees; the largest tax and fee assessment, paying $8.4 million to the state; and spent the most on purchased services, like labor and utilities, with a total of $159.5 million spent.

University Hospital, in Newark, provided the highest dollar amount of charity care in the state, with $127 million in care provided to people who could not pay. In total, NJHA said the state’s facilities contributed roughly $1.3 billion in charity care in 2011.

“The true economic value of hospitals extends far beyond these conservative totals — especially in our current weak economy,” said Sean Hopkins, senior vice president of health economics at NJHA, in the announcement. “Hospitals are steady sources of jobs in a time of high unemployment, reliable customers for other New Jersey businesses and major contributors to the quality of life for communities all across our state.”

The American Hospital Association estimates that each hospital job supports two additional jobs, and for every dollar spent by a hospital, $2.03 of additional business activity occurs.

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