Kentucky Hospitals: A $14 Billion Boost for the State Economy


A new report by the Kentucky Hospital Association (KHA) reveals how the state’s hospitals and their employees are vital for Kentucky’s economic health. The report shows that hospitals generate $14 billion in economic activity, support over 84,000 jobs, and provide $137 million in financial assistance and charity care.

Hospitals are not only the providers of essential health care services, but also the drivers of economic growth and development in their communities. They operate around the clock, every day of the year, and employ thousands of skilled and dedicated workers who earn $6 billion in wages annually.

Hospitals invest heavily in their facilities and equipment to improve the quality of care for their patients. In 2022, hospitals spent $1 billion on capital purchases. Moreover, hospitals stimulate the local economy by spending $5 billion on goods and services from other sectors. This spending has a multiplier effect that benefits the entire economy, creating more jobs.

Hospitals also give back to their communities by providing financial assistance and charity care to those in need, and offering other community services, such as health improvement education and screenings, health professions education, and health care research.

Kentucky is world renowned for its signature industries – bourbon and horse – but not everyone drinks bourbon or visits the racetrack. However, everyone needs their local hospital. It is vital to Kentucky’s physical and economic health to ensure hospitals have the support they need to focus on the quality care they provide their patients every day across the Commonwealth.

In 2022, the state’s hospitals:

  • Treated 465,000 inpatients and 11 million outpatients
  • Welcomed 47,000 babies into the world
  • Provided emergency care to 2 million people

The report, Kentucky Hospitals Economic Importance to Their Communities, is based on the most recent, publicly available data from hospitals’ Medicare Cost Reports (federal fiscal year 2022), data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Kentucky Inpatient and Outpatient (KY IPOP) data collection system, and an economic model designed by Economic Development Data Research Consultant Barry Kornstein, Senior Research Analyst. The report measures the impact of hospitals’ spending on the state economy.

The report is available on the KHA website at

To see how your county or legislative district is impacted by area hospitals, visit the Kentucky Economic Impact Map.

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