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Health Picture of Health

Bon Secours' $226.3 million impact on Baltimore economy

The once financially-troubled Bon Secours Baltimore Health System now contributes $226.3 million to the city's economy, a new analysis has found.

The analysis, done by Richard Clinch, director of Economic Research at the Jacob France Institute at the University of Baltimore, looked at the economic impact of the hospital's direct services and indirect effects. 

It found that Bon Secours supports 1,532 jobs that provide $94 million in annual compensation. The hospital generates about $7.6 million in combined state and local tax revenue and provided $9.7 million in charity care in fiscal year 2010.

The hospital directly employs 956 workers who earn $67.2 million in compensation annually. It  spent $26.3 million on capital projects in the last five years, generating $38.7 million in economic activity.

Not long ago Bon Secours struggled financially and had to turn to the state for aid. The Bon Secours system lost $15.1 million in 2007, its largest decline in a decade, which led to a one-year, $5 million bailout from the state. It has since turned its financial picture around.

Bon Secours had difficulty remaining profitable in a neighborhood where most residents do not have insurance or are on Medicaid or Medicare. The government insurance programs reimburse at a lower rate than private companies. 

Many of the hospital's patients wait until they are very sick before seeking medical care and often end up in the emergency room, where costs are higher, hospital officials said. The problem is worsened by the lack of primary care physicians in the area.

Now that it is more financially sound, the hospital has been focusing on improving health outcomes in the West Baltimore community that it serves.

The system runs Bon Secours Hospital and Bon Secours Community Works, which provides educational and workforce programs, support groups, community greening initiatives and financial coaching.

     

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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