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Report: Northeast Georgia Medical Centers impact exceeds $1B for 5th straight year
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Northeast Georgia Medical Center keeps earning high marks for economic impact.

The Georgia Hospital Association’s latest report says the hospital generated more than $1 billion in economic impact for a fifth straight year in 2014.

According to the GHA report, Northeast Georgia Medical Center generated $1,301,569,461 in revenue for the local and Georgia economies.

Tim Evans, vice president of economic development for the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, said that’s just part of the equation.

“Beyond just the numbers, it’s about quality of life and providing quality health care to a growing population,” Evans said.

GHA is the state’s largest hospital trade association.

It also noted that the hospital sustained 8,000 full-time jobs in the region and state, in addition to more than 6,000 who it directly employed. The hospital also provided more than $43 million in uncompensated care in 2014, according to the report, such as indigent and charity care.

“That’s a big benefit to the community,” Evans said.

That number includes more than $7 million in free screenings and health education for the community.

Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s direct expenditures exceeded $569 million in 2014, and an economic multiplier considering the “ripple” effect on other sectors, “such as medical supplies, durable medical equipment and pharmaceuticals,” was used to calculate the $1.3 billion figure.

“One of our organization’s core values is deep interdependence — the idea that we can’t do our jobs without each other’s support — which reflects our intimate relationship with our community,” said Carol Burrell, president and CEO of NGMC’s parent organization, Northeast Georgia Health System, in a press release.

Evans said Northeast Georgia Medical Center is a central part of a health care industry that employs 11,500 people in Hall County, or 14.6 percent of the workforce, according to a Chamber survey released in September. The overall industry, which includes more than 300 providers, totals $575 million in payroll.

“Those wages are turned over in the local economy again and again,” Evans said.

Burrell said the report reflects the impact of the construction of Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton, the Health System’s new hospital, which opened last April.

That project invested more than $40 million in 60 subcontractors and vendors from Hall County and across the region, accounting for more than half of the project’s labor and resources.

Evans said the Braselton campus of Northeast Georgia Medical Center has expanded health care access along Interstate 85 and relieved some of the overflow in Gainesville.

Evans also noted the impact of Northeast Georgia Health System’s Corporate Plaza in Oakwood.

The GHA distinction is the latest recognition for the hospital. Northeast Georgia Medical Center ranked eighth in the country ­— its second consecutive year in the top 10 — for overall hospital care, according to CareChex, an independent health care quality rating service, in a February ranking.

The rating service also named the hospital No. 1 overall in Georgia for the third year in a row and No. 1 for stroke care, women’s health and cardiac care. It is the 11th consecutive year the hospital is rated Georgia’s No. 1 heart hospital.

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