Of that $2.7 trillion, 32 percent represented hospital care, according to the 2014 edition of AHA Hospital Statistics. While community hospitals provide care to their communities, they also make major economic contributions. They frequently rank among the top 10 employers in large urban areas and, regionally, they can account for as much as 5 percent of employment.

Community hospitals in 2012 spent about $380 billion on goods and services in their own and other communities, and employed nearly 5.6 million people. These direct expenditures have a ripple effect: Every dollar spent by a hospital supports more than $2 of additional business activity, and every hospital job supports nearly two additional jobs. Including these indirect benefits, hospitals support nearly $2.5 trillion of economic activity.

For more information about AHA data, call 866-375-3633 or visit www.ahadataviewer.com

Coming in October: Population Health and IT

Trustee will look at how hospitals use data-driven intelligence for care management to produce gains in population health.