DANVILLE - Geisinger Health System annually contributes more than $7.4 billion to the local, regional and state economy, according to a new report by The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP).

As a major employer of more than 21,000 people and through the ripple effect utilization of Pennsylvania suppliers and other businesses, Geisinger Health System also supports more than 36,664 jobs in the Commonwealth, GHS reported last week.

"Geisinger plays a significant role in elevating the health, economic and social well-being of the communities we serve," GHS executive vice president and chief operating officer Frank J. Trembulak was quoted in a press release. "This new report by the Hospital and Healthsystem Association is evidence of Geisinger's position as a major employer and economic driver."

During 2012, Pennsylvania hospitals and health systems supported nearly 592,000 jobs (approximately one out of every ten jobs) and had a total economic impact of nearly $104 billion, approximately $6 billion more than during 2011.

"We remain focused on improving the quality of life for the people of central and northeast Pennsylvania and providing healthcare services close to where our patients and members live and work," said Trembulak. "Our growth leads to increased economic impact, which is good news for everyone in the region."

"Pennsylvania's hospitals and health systems are going through significant transitions as they redesign care delivery to focus on enhancing patient quality and satisfaction, community health, and reduce per capita cost," said HAP president and CEO Andy Carter. "Pennsylvania's hospitals are absorbing an additional $1.4 billion in Medicare cuts as a result of the federal sequestration cuts. They can't make the delivery system changes that are needed and remain viable economic drivers if their payments are cut again and again."