Physicians’ Economic Impact on State Totals $39.5 Billion

WALTHAM — A study recently released by the American Medical Assoc. (AMA) shows that the economic impact of physicians to the Massachusetts economy in 2012 totaled $39.5 billion, reflecting contributions in the areas of jobs, wages and benefits, and tax revenues.
The study, conducted by IMS Health for the AMA, reported on the impact of more than 23,800 Massachusetts physicians who are primarily engaged in patient care, as opposed to research or teaching. It measured four key economic barometers: total output, jobs, wages and benefits, and state and local tax revenue.
“Besides our role as caregivers, healers, and patient advocates, this study clearly shows another vital aspect of physicians,” said Dr. Ronald Dunlap, president of the Mass. Medical Society. “The collective impact of our profession to the state’s economy is significant. Healthcare is the state’s leading economic engine, and physicians are providing much of the fuel to keep that engine going.”
In addition to the $39.5 billion in total economic output, the research found that physicians in Massachusetts in 2012 contributed by supporting:
• 241,129 jobs, with each physician on average supporting 10 jobs;
• $22.8 billion in   and indirect wages and benefits for all supported jobs, with each physician on average supporting $958,645 in total wages and benefits; and
• $1.8 billion in local and state tax revenues, with each physician on average supporting $77,443 in local and state tax revenues (including Social Security taxes, personal taxes, and business taxes).
Researchers defined direct economic impact as the value of the economic barometers that are produced by physicians, and the indirect impact as the value of the same barometers generated by industries that are supported by physicians.
The study also found that the total economic impact of physicians of $39.5 billion far exceeded the economic contributions of four other industries in the state: higher education at $23.1 billion, nursing-home and residential care at $11.9 billion, legal services at $12.1 billion, and home health at $4.3 billion. Physician impact on jobs, wages, and benefits were also greater than those industries.
Nationally, the total economic impact of more than 720,400 patient-care physicians was calculated at $1.6 trillion, or 10.2{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} of gross domestic product. The study revealed that physicians support nearly 10 million jobs, with $775.5 billion in wages and benefits. Reports on the Massachusetts and national studies are available at www.massmed.org/economic-impact.

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