IBJNews

Doc groups play up economic impact

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Physicians are regarded as smart, successful and helpful when you’re sick—but not usually as a big driver of the economy. Now, however, physician trade groups are arguing that docs are good for business, too.

Indiana has 11,549 office-based physicians generating $14.7 billion in economic activity a year, according to a report released in February by Virginia-based The Lewin Group. The report was sponsored by the American Medical Association and state affiliates including the Indiana State Medical Association. It uses multipliers to estimate the economic ripple effects of wages paid and supplies or services purchased by office-based physicians.

By way of comparison, a 2009 study of Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. conducted by Indiana University's Indiana Business Research Center concluded the company and its (then) 15,500 state employees contributed $8 billion to the state’s economy. The studies used different methodologies, thus aren’t comparable scientifically. They did, however, use the same economic multipliers.

The Lewin study calculated that each physician hires about two employees directly and supports nearly three more through economic ripple effects. Wages of all those jobs total $9.6 billion.

“Hoosiers benefit directly when the state creates a positive practice environment for physicians,” the medical associations wrote in a report about the Indiana numbers. “By attracting and keeping physicians in the state, the people of Indiana have better access to health care and a stronger state economy.”

You’d expect lobbying organizations for physicians to say nothing less. Although the economic argument is relatively new.

In general, economic developers view physicians somewhat like retailers—they’re vitally needed, but don’t tend to create a lot of wealth. A manufacturer—of pharmaceuticals, for instance—is seen as creating wealth by adding value to raw materials, and in Lilly’s case, bringing wealth from around the world.

So don’t expect to see property tax abatements for physicians any time soon.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • In addition
    Although physician practices may not 'create wealth' like a manufacturer, they do provide for some high paying jobs (nurse, radiology techs, etc) which can mitigate the Indiana brain drain.
    They can keep dollars and employment in the rural areas rather than people seeking services in larger metro areas.
    And without quality local medical care, businesses may not locate in a small town.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
ADVERTISEMENT