U.S. hospitals support 15.4 million direct and indirect jobs and annually contribute more than $2.3 trillion to the economy, according to a new AHA issue brief on the economic contributions of hospitals at the state and national level. In addition to being the second largest source of private sector jobs, hospitals spend more than $702 billion on goods and services from other businesses, which create additional economic value for the community. With these "ripple effects" included, each hospital job supports about two more jobs and every dollar spent by a hospital supports roughly $2.30 of additional business activity. "Hospitals provide vital health care services to their communities, but the importance of hospitals to their communities extends far beyond health care," said AHA President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock. "Congress should not overlook the economic contribution of hospitals as it considers further deficit reduction proposals." To access the issue brief, go to www.aha.org/economicimpact.