A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

From Mayfield to Russellville, report shows Western Kentucky hospitals are a billion-dollar business

Hospitals in 15 Western Kentucky counties contribute $1 billion to the economy, Ivan and Mary Potter report for their West Kentucky Journal.

“Those dollars come from private and group insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, and private-pay patients,” they write.

Using a compilation by U.S. News and World Report, the Potters researched hospitals in McCracken, Graves, Marshall, Calloway, Trigg, Lyon, Caldwell, Livingston, Crittenden, Union, Henderson, Hopkins, Muhlenberg, Christian and Logan counties.

Jackson Purchase Medical Center, Mayfield, Graves County

Several counties in the region do not have hospitals; the privately owned Parkway Regional Hospital in Fulton closed in 2015.

The Potters’ report lists beds, patients treated and admitted, and the number of doctors and nurses on staff. They noted that the health-care industry in the region is much broader than hospitals: “Our research doesn’t even take into account the number of doctors’ offices, walk in clinics, drug stores, medical device distributors that depend on the dollars generated by the sick and those trying to avoid being sick.”

The report classifies eight of the hospitals, with up to 105 beds, as rural; and seven as urban, with 135 to 230 beds.

“Researching the footprint that hospitals have in Western Kentucky only in terms of economic impact starkly illustrates the effect that changes in delivery of health and medical care will have on this region,” the Potters write. “As the debate rages, it is worth remembering that not only patients and their families have a stake in the outcome, but all those working in the industry and the communities they serve.”

From Kentucky Health News

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