Western Baptist impact extends to region's economy
For the approximate 200,000 people treated at Western Baptist each year, Western Baptist’s impact as a healthcare provider is well-known. However, its economic impact may surprise you.
“It takes a lot of employees and supplies to operate 24/7 and to care for that many people,” said Jim Carmain, chief financial officer.
Western Baptist is one of the region’s largest employers, with more than 1700 employees and an annual payroll of $71 million, representing about 5 percent of all wages and salaries in McCracken County.
In addition, the hospital is responsible for generating approximately $64 million in local economic activity from its purchases and those made by employees.
According to the Kentucky Hospital Association, these dollars have a “ripple effect” in the larger economy, supporting other businesses and jobs in the community and generating tax revenue to fund state programs.
Western Baptist treats patients, regardless of whether they have insurance or they can afford to pay.
In 2008, the unreimbursed cost to Western Baptist for treating uninsured patients whose income was below the federal poverty level topped $3.3 million, and these patients are not billed. This amount does not include additional charity care provided by the hospital to uninsured people with higher income, uncollectible bad debt or the full cost of caring for people on Medicare and Medicaid.
And the hospital and its staff give back to the community, with annual donations such as $75,000 to the local nursing school and $123,000 in payroll deductions for local charities.