Economic study: PA hospitals employ 10% of state’s workforce

Hospitals supported one out of 10 jobs in Pennsylvania and contributed some $60.5 billion to the state’s economy, according to a report released by the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania.

According to Beyond Patient Care, a report released by the association on Monday, hospital systems contributed $136.1 billion to the state’s economy through direct impact, such as employee salaries and wages, and from the circulation of hospital dollars in local communities.

The report used data from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and from health systems that are members of the association.

In South Central Pennsylvania alone, hospitals spent more than $5 billion on employee salaries, wages, benefits and services to support hospital operations. Lehigh Valley’s hospitals spent about $4 billion.

Across Pennsylvania, hospital system’s paid $32.3 billion in total wages to 654,000 people- 290,000 of which were directly hired by a system with the rest including hospital contractors or other service providers hired by hospitals.

“This white paper demonstrates the significance of Pennsylvania hospital care to the quality of life of our citizens and gives new insights into the economic engine that is commonwealth’s hospital community—one that is fueled by a strong workforce, innovative programs, and world-renowned researchers,” said Dr. Sari Siegel, vice president of the association and the report’s lead author.

The report estimates that hospitals in the state will continue to increase their employee size and spending, but the state’s hospitals in rural counties continue to feel financial stress and face closure.

The association, also known as HAP, advocates for nearly 240 of Pennsylvania’s health care providers including primary care, specialty care, home health and hospice providers.

State to offer free salary negotiation workshops for women

In 2019, women in Pennsylvania are earning 80 cents on the dollar compared to men. The Pennsylvania Commission for Women wants to change that.

This fall, the Commission, a state-run volunteer organization that advises Gov. Tom Wolf on matters important to women, will host a series of salary negotiation workshops for women. The workshops will be offered at no cost through a partnership with the American Association of University Women, a national advocacy organization that promotes gender equality.

These educational workshops will be held at locations in Harrisburg, York, Wilkes Barre, Scranton, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, beginning on Sept. 24 at Widener Law Commonwealth in Harrisburg.

“…There are far too many employers who refuse to even acknowledge the gender pay gap, much less work to eliminate it,” Wolf said. “Women deserve equal pay for equal work, and I commend the Commission for Women for providing this tangible service to professional women throughout the commonwealth as we work in Harrisburg to find sustainable solutions.”

Randi Teplitz, chair of the commission, said equal pay for women benefits all Pennsylvanians, regardless of gender, by making a financial impact on families, communities and the broader economy.

“These workshops will give women the essential tools they need to empower themselves in the workplace,” she said, “especially as they advocate for promotions, pay raises and better benefits.”

More information on the workshops can be found here-https://salary.aauw.org/pa/.