Iowa Physicians Boost the State’s Economy

Date of Publication January 12, 2018

Physicians add opportunity, growth, and prosperity to the Iowa economy by creating 58,866 jobs and generating $9.8 billion dollars in economic activity, according to a new report, The Economic Impact of Physicians in Iowa, released today by the Iowa Medical Society (IMS) and the American Medical Association (AMA).

According to the report: “Given the rapidly changing healthcare environment, it is critical to quantify the economic impact physicians have on society, physician’s impact reaches far beyond just the provision of patient care. Physicians 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.”

The new study quantifies the economic boost that 5,324 active patient care physicians provide to the state’s economy, producing a ripple effect that is felt statewide. The study measures physicians’ impact using four key economic indicators:

  • Jobs: Physicians support 58,866 jobs in Iowa – 11.1 for each physician on average.
  • Economic activity: Physicians generate $9.8 billion in economic output, comprising 5.6 percent of the Iowa economy. Each physician generates $1.8 million for the state economy on average.
  • Wages & benefits: Physicians contribute $4.9 billion in total wages and benefits paid to workers across Iowa, empowering a high-quality, sustainable workforce. Each physician contributes $912,799 to workers’ wages and benefits on average.
  • State and local tax revenue: Physicians’ contribution to the Iowa economy generates $372.6 million in state and local tax revenue for their communities–translating to $69,977 for each physician on average–enabling community investments to be made.

“The positive impact of physicians extends beyond safeguarding the health and welfare of their patients,” said AMA President David O. Barbe, MD, MHA, “The Economic Impact Study illustrates that physicians are woven into their local communities and have a vital role in fueling state economies by creating jobs, purchasing goods and services, and supporting public services through the tax revenue they generate.”

“Iowa physicians not only provide high quality care to their patients, they also help to drive our state’s economy. This new study quantifies the very real impact of medical practices in Iowa, and underscores the importance of ensuring equitable provider reimbursement rates and a competitive practice environment to ensure Iowa’s economy continues to grow,” said IMS President, Joyce Vista-Wayne, MD, DFAPA.

The report found that each dollar in direct output applied to physician services in Iowa supports an additional $1.81 in other business activity. An additional 6.12 jobs, above and beyond the clinical and administrative personnel that work inside the physician practices, are supported for each one million dollars of revenue generated by a physician’s practice.

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.

View the full report and an interactive map here.

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