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Report: Hospital brings $250 million impact on local economy
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Rockdale Medical Center generated more than $250 million in economic impact for the local and state economy in 2011, according to a recent report by the Georgia Hospital Association.

The report revealed that Rockdale Medical Center had direct expenditures of more than $109.7 million in 2011, which had an economic impact of more than $250.6 million. This output multiplier considers the "ripple" effect of direct hospital expenditures on other sectors of the economy, such as medical supplies, durable medical equipment and pharmaceuticals.

The report also found that, during the same time period, RMC provided approximately $7.9 million in uncompensated care and provided 1,912 full-time jobs throughout Conyers.

In 2012, RMC contributed over $2.5 million dollars to the local tax base.

"This new report shows that, even in these difficult economic times, Rockdale Medical Center has an enormous positive impact on our local economy," said Deborah Armstrong, CEO of Rockdale Medical Center. "We thank Rockdale County, and our surrounding communities, for their unwavering support of Rockdale Medical Center, and we will continue to work hard to ensure that the citizens of this community have access to health care services that are second to none in quality and affordability."

"Delivering quality healthcare close to home is the single most important contribution we make to our community," Armstrong continues, "but there are many other ways we have a positive impact on the communities we serve."

While Rockdale Medical Center remains a major component of the area's economic engine, the hospital faces continued challenges including continued cuts in Medicare and Medicaid payments and a fast-growing uninsured population.

According to the report, more than a third of all hospitals in Georgia are operating with negative margins. RMC, however, is not in that position due to being part the LifePoint Hospital system.

"We're extremely concerned with the current operating environment for hospitals," said Armstrong. "We've made a commitment to every citizen of this community to be on call for them 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. But our ability to do so is being compromised when, in many cases, we're seeing an increasing number of uninsured patients while the state is paying us far less than what it actually costs to treat Medicaid patients."

"Our local health care system is indispensable," says Armstrong. "It is the primary guardian of health in our community and is a key building block for everything else in our community including education and economic vitality. It is our hope that, even in these challenging economic times, that our elected lawmakers will do what is necessary to protect our local health care system.

Rockdale Medical Center is a 138-bed acute-care hospital that is part of LifePoint Hospitals, a company with more than 50 community hospitals nationwide.