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University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Publish Date: 11/19/03
Media Contact: AHC Public Relations, (513) 558-4553
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UC Medical Center Economic Impact Approaches $4 Billion

The UC Medical Center today announced the most recent study of the total economic impact of the Medical Center on Greater Cincinnati, Hamilton County and a three-state region.  Based on 2002 data, the study calculates an economic impact of $3.59 billion, and projects an economic impact by 2006 of $4.19 billion.

The new study documents a large and growing economic impact over several years. This is the third in a series of studies commissioned by the Medical Center, and conducted by Tripp Umbach & Associates, a national firm that specializes in economic impact analysis of academic medical centers. The expanding economic influence of the Medical Center is riding an unprecedented, growing wave of medical research funding to UC. In just the past year, research funding to the Medical Center increased by 28 percent.

The first study, based on 1997 data, showed an economic impact of  $2.46 billion, with a total direct employment of 11,484. The second study, based on 1999 data, showed the annual economic impact to be $3.05 billion, with total direct employment of 14,746.  The new study shows total direct employment provided by the Medical Center is 16,268, making it the largest employer in the region.

“The University of Cincinnati Medical Center has earned international recognition for excellence and innovation in research, education and patient care,” said Nancy Zimpher, PhD, president of the University of Cincinnati. “For decades, people living in the Tri-State have benefited from the high quality health care that results from UC Medical Center programs and experts. More recently, the Medical Center’s dramatic impact on the economic well-being of the Tri-State region has been documented.”

In announcing the results of the latest economic impact study, Jane Henney, MD, senior vice president and provost for health affairs, said, “In the five years since we first measured the very significant economic influence of the Medical Center, we have experienced phenomenal growth in research funding, as well as expansion of education and patient care programs.  The result is the Medical Center is now the leading employer in the region and one of the most powerful economic engines in the Tri-State.

“Cincinnati is fortunate to be home to one of the nation’s premier medical centers because the Medical Center benefits the people of the region in so many ways, including providing jobs and supporting business and government. This new economic impact study shows that UC Medical Center is one of the largest medical centers in the State of Ohio,” she said.

The following are highlights of the economic impact study:

Total Economic Impact:  The Medical Center’s $3.59 billion impact on the Tri-State comprises $1.56 billion direct impact and $2.03 billion indirect impact. This is projected to be a $4.19 billion impact by 2006.

Economic Impact in Ohio:  The Medical Center’s business impact totals $2.74 billion in Ohio, including $1.19 billion direct, and $1.55 billion indirect impact.

Total Employment Impact:  The Medical Center provides 16,268 full-time equivalent jobs in the Tri-State (up from 14,746 in 1999), making the Medical Center the largest employer in Greater Cincinnati.  The “ripple effect” of that direct employment generates a total of nearly 42,000 jobs in Ohio and more than 50,000 jobs in the Tri-State that are directly or indirectly related to the operations of the Medical Center.

Government Revenues:  Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana governments received over $106.3 million in Medical Center tax-related revenues ($91.8 million in 1999); Ohio received $79.6 million.

Out of Area Visitors and Patients:  The economy of the Tri-State benefits from spending generated by patients who come to the Medical Center from outside the area, along with other visitors who come to the area because of the Medical Center.  In 2002, the overall spending of out-of-area patients, out-of-area patients’ visitors, and other visitors totaled $250.6 million.

Research:  More than 80 percent of the research grants at the University of Cincinnati are for work related to medical research by faculty of the Medical Center. Because the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the source of most grants to the Medical Center, research funding represents new dollars that infuse the economy of the State of Ohio.

The UC Medical Center is one of the largest medical centers in Ohio. Case Western and the Cleveland Clinic combined are similar in size to UC’s medical research holdings. Research dollars at the UC Medical Center (including all colleges, UC’s Genome Research Institute, and clinical affiliates) reached $240.6 million in 2003. 

This phenomenal growth in research funding at the UC Medical Center in recent years places it among the premier research institutions in the country in terms of the size, growth and success of research programs. Among the 77 public medical schools in the United States, the UC College of Medicine is ranked 19th in NIH funding.

Education:  Approximately 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students are enrolled in Medical Center programs in Medicine, Pharmacy, Nursing and Allied Health Sciences.  An estimated 70 percent of Tri-State health professionals have received training at the Medical Center in degree programs, residencies or continuing education activities; 80 percent of Cincinnati physicians have received at least some of their training at the UC College of Medicine. More than 9,000 alumni of the Medical Center reside in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. 

Charity Care:  During 2002, Medical Center institutions and faculty physicians contributed approximately $176 million in charity care, including uncollected patient expenses, and Medicare and Medicaid shortfalls. This uncompensated patient expense is completely outside of care for the medically indigent paid for by the Hamilton County Hospital Levy.  Uncompensated care is a major financial burden for academic health centers such as UC Medical Center.  Although such health centers comprise less than 6 percent of the nation’s acute care hospitals, estimates show they provide 50 percent of uncompensated care in the United States.

Quality of Care:  The Medical Center’s three-part mission of research, education and quality patient care is reflected in all its endeavors. The opportunity for leading edge research and education in some of the best facilities in the country attract the best and the brightest faculty and students. Top medical professionals treat patients in Medical Center clinical programs – giving Cincinnati area citizens access to the best medical care in the nation’s finest hospitals. University Hospital and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital are both listed in U.S.News and World Report’s Best Hospitals.

Institutions included in the study:  The current study measured the combined economic impact of the UC Medical Center, which includes the Colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Allied Health Sciences, UC’s Genome Research Institute (GRI) and Hoxworth Blood Center; and the Medical Center affiliated institutions (which include University Hospital, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Shriners Burns Institute, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and UC Physicians).


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