New study finds North Texas hospitals provide an economic impact of $38.4 billion to region

A report released today by the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council (DFWHC) shows healthcare to be one of the most prominent contributors to the North Texas economy with an economic impact of $38.4 billion to the region, a $7.7 billion increase from a similar study conducted by DFWHC in 2017.

The study was commissioned by DFWHC’s Board of Trustees, made up of executives from North Texas hospitals, and created by Ann K. Peton, director of the National Center for Rural Health Works (NCRHW) and the National Center for the Analysis of Healthcare Data.

“We were impressed by the significant increase and impact for North Texas over the past five years,” said Stephen Love, president/CEO of DFWHC. “Such a positive economic impact is extraordinary, especially when considering the challenges facing hospitals over the past two years during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Titled “The Economic Impact of the Member Hospitals of the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council on the State of Texas and the Dallas-Fort Worth Area,” the study detailed the numbers generated by the 90 DFWHC-member hospitals in North Texas was $26.1 billion in labor income, $5.9 billion in retail sales and $6.4 billion in federal, state and local taxes. DFWHC-member hospitals also generated 372,988 jobs in 2022, an increase from 295,138 in 2017.

Numbers from the regional study trended ahead of a recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ report in 2020 projecting the healthcare sector to add 2.6 million jobs over the next decade, with Nurse Practitioner positions increasing 45.7 percent. Inspired by an aging baby-boomer population and a higher prevalence of chronic conditions, the estimates were the highest of any employment sector in the U.S.

Hospital systems and hospitals participating included Baylor Scott & White Health, Kindred Healthcare, Medical City Healthcare, Methodist Health System, Texas Health Resources, Children’s Health, Cook Children’s Health Care System, JPS Health Network, Parkland Health, Scottish Rite for Children and UT Southwestern University Hospitals.

“These numbers show North Texas hospitals do much more than just provide medical services,” said Peton. “The employment and income generated and the ripple effect in other businesses throughout the economy are enormous. The study clearly demonstrates that DFWHC-member hospitals are major players in economic development in Texas.”

Using a modeling methodology created by NCRHW that measures the business transactions of all industries within a hospital’s service area, DFWHC’s region and in the state, the study measures the economic contribution of the hospitals and their employees’ spending while calculating the number of jobs and income created as a secondary effect.

“Hospitals act as economic engines and generate huge financial impacts for the communities they serve,” Love said. “In many cases, they are one of the largest employers in a community. Economic developers frequently seek manufacturing and high technology industries that will create new jobs. The activities of the DFWHC-member hospitals are attracting these industries and must be recognized as a large contributor to the economy.”

According to Love, policies should be adopted to encourage the economic impact generated by hospitals to ensure continued economic growth for North Texas and the state.

“The continuation of the Medicaid 1115 Waiver and much-needed Medicaid expansion will improve coverage, access and outcomes for many Texans,” he said. “Therefore, these initiatives must be given careful consideration in Austin and Washington, D.C. so hospitals can continue this beneficial economic impact.”