The Economic Impact of Littleton Regional Healthcare
Littleton, NH - Critical access hospitals (CAHs), like Littleton Regional Healthcare (LRH) are important in rural areas not only in terms of access to healthcare, but also as local sources of employment. Littleton Regional Healthcare is the largest employer in Littleton with 469 employees in 2013. This CAH designation was created by Congress through the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program (Flex Program) in 1997. This designation allows small rural hospitals to be licensed as a CAH and offer grants to state governments to strengthen rural health care infrastructure. Since the Flex Program's inception in 1999, hospitals like Littleton Regional Healthcare have been able to improve services and stay financially stable.
Littleton Regional Healthcare Economic Impact
The role Littleton Regional Healthcare plays in the communities it serves as employer, health care provider, and partner in community development is critical. LRH impacts the communities it serves on several short and long term levels. LRH creates a long-term economic impact through employment of 469 full and part time employees. LRH has and will likely continue to create support for local businesses through large, one-time spending for capital projects such as construction and equipment. LRH has been critical to the viability of the communities it serves in many ways. LRH offers wellness services, provides a safety net for rural residents, offers quality of care standards, and is an integral part of the economic strength and stability of the community, making Littleton an attractive place to live, work and play.
The 2010 US Census reported that the Healthcare Service Area (HSA) for Littleton Regional Healthcare indicates the total HSA for Grafton County equals a population of 89,118 and Coos County with a population of 33,055. This includes Littleton, Whitefield, Bethlehem, Lisbon, Lincoln, Franconia, North Woodstock, Twin Mountain, Sugar Hill, Woodstock, and Bretton Woods. These figures represent an 11.0 percent increase when compared to the 2000 Census population.
In 2013, LRH employed 469 full and part time employees with wages, salaries and benefits (income of $39.4 million). These employees and LRH spent money locally, and additional jobs were created in other businesses in the health care service. These are called secondary jobs and are measured with employment multipliers for the LRH HSA. The hospital employment multiplier is 1.46, which means that for each job established at LRH, another 0.46 jobs were generated in its HSA. The secondary employment generated in the LRH HSA is estimated to be 218 jobs. LRH has a total impact of 687 jobs in the HSA.
Income (wages, salaries and benefits) paid to LRH employees was $39.4 million. With the hospital income multiplier of 1.27, the secondary income impact was $10.5 million and the total income impact was $49.9 million. LRH clearly has a significant influence on the local economy.
The economic impacts generated by LRH contribute to the economy of the health service area. The employment and income impacts from operating activities are annual and will continue every year that LRH operates.
The presence of LRH, with staff, technology and health care services increases the opportunity to attract new business, industry and residents to the area. Also, research clearly indicates that retirees are attracted to communities with quality health care services.1
LRH is an economic engine and contributes to the local economy. The demand for health services is increasing rapidly, and more jobs will be created in the next several years due to an expanding need for health care. LRH provides jobs and wages at prevailing market rates while contributing to the sustainability and growth of the local economy.
Additional items for consideration:
Charity Care - In FY 13' LRH provided more than $2,007,330 in charity care for individuals and families who cannot afford their care.
Money Spent on Good and Services - LRH spent $13.9 million on goods and service to businesses in NH/VT area in 2013.
Transportation - Transportation is a critical issue for people in Northern New Hampshire. LRH provides Care-A-Van service which provided 3,904 rides travelling more than 40,658 miles in 2013. The need for transportation increased so significantly that LRH now offers transportation form 7:30 am - 5:30 pm.
Scholarships for local students - LRH and its Auxiliary invests in the communities served by LRH through scholarships for students graduating from area high schools. Collectively LRH and its Auxiliary provided some $15,000 in scholarships in 2013.
Community Outreach - LRH offers free health screenings and Influenza flu vaccinations at a number of wellness fairs and conferences held in Littleton and the surrounding HSA area.
Quality Care at LRH - The Quality and Risk Department at LRH keeps close vigilance over all services that effect patient care striving to constantly improve the quality of care provided at LRH with patient safety and customer service as the top priorities.
Gross Revenue - LRH's Gross Patient Revenue in 2013 was $135.2 millon.
Healthcare Specialties Offered at LRH - LRH's medical staff includes 64 physicians offering 30 specialty services. This allows local residents to access healthcare close to home.
1 Foundation for Healthy Communities, New Hampshire Hospital Association; July 2015.