Economic impact

Monday, January 01, 2018 12:12 PM
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Colorado physicians boost the state’s economy, supporting 175,000 jobs, generating $31.1 billion in economic activity

by American Medical Association

Physicians are a critical component of the health care system, providing care to patients across a variety of settings and within a multitude of specialties and subspecialties. Through the care provided to their patients, physicians can have a positive and lasting impact on the health of their patients and the community as a whole. However, the breadth of a physician’s impact reaches far beyond just the provision of patient care. Physicians also play a vital role in the state and local economies by creating jobs, purchasing goods and services, and supporting state and community public programs through generated tax revenues.

A new report, The Economic Impact of Physicians in Colorado, released by the Colorado Medical Society and the American Medical Association (AMA), provides estimates of the total economic impact of patient care physicians on the economy of Colorado, across four vital economic barometers: output, jobs, wages and benefits, and state and local tax revenue. As of December 2015, there were 736,873 patient care physicians within the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Of these, 12,840 physicians practiced in the state of Colorado.

The overall findings in the state of Colorado are as follows:

  • Total output: In Colorado, physicians created a total of $31.1 billion in direct and indirect economic output (i.e., sales revenues) in 2015. On average, each physician supported $2,422,969 in output.
  • Jobs: In 2015, physicians supported 175,246 jobs (including their own), the total of direct and indirect positions. On average, each physician supported 13.65 jobs.
  • Wages and benefits: Physicians contributed $14,922.4 million in direct and indirect wages and benefits for all supported jobs in 2015. On average, each physician supported $1,162,177 in total wages and benefits.
  • Tax revenues: Physicians supported $1,141.1 million in local and state tax revenues in 2015. On average, each physician supported $88,867 in local and state tax revenues.

Given the rapidly changing health care environment, it is critical to quantify the economic impact physicians have on society. This report provides data that demonstrates how physician practices both ensure the health and well-being of communities as well as support local economies and enable jobs, growth and prosperity. It focuses on physicians (MDs and DOs) who primarily engaged in the practice of medicine (i.e., patient care activities as compared to those who focus on research or teaching), regardless of whether they are office- or hospital-based.

The report found that every dollar applied to physician services in Colorado supports an additional $2.17 in other business activity. An additional 7.92 jobs, above and beyond the clinical and administrative personnel that work inside the physician practices, are supported for each $1 million of revenue generated by a physician’s practice. In addition, Colorado physicians generate more economic output, produce more jobs and pay more in wages and benefits than higher education, nursing and community care facilities, legal services and home health.

Across the country, physicians add $2.3 trillion to the U.S. economy, support more than 12.6 million jobs nationwide, contribute $1 trillion in total wages and benefits paid to U.S. workers, and generate $92.9 billion in state and local tax revenue.

To view the full report and an interactive map, visit

Posted in: Colorado Medicine | Initiatives | AMA


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