Report: Economic Worth Of Mass. Doctors

The Massachusetts Medical Society has just sent over this Lewin Group report, commissioned by the American Medical Association, on doctors' contribution to the economy. Says the MMS:

Alice Coombs, M.D., President of the Massachusetts Medical Society, said: “As the state’s number one industry, health care plays the leading role in the economic well-being of Massachusetts. This latest report clearly demonstrates that physicians contribute enormously to the economic health of our communities and the state, as well as to the personal and public health of our residents.”

That's good news, of course. As well as problematic news: The economic importance of health care makes it all the more perilous for reformers to tinker with it, even though change is clearly needed.

More from the MMS:

Regional Massachusetts Data

The report also calculated the economic impact of physicians in six metropolitan statistical areas, including areas that cross borders of Rhode Island and New Hampshire: Barnstable County; Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass.-New Hampshire; Pittsfield; Providence-New Bedford-Fall River; Springfield; and Worcester.
In Worcester, physicians accounted for $2.2 billion in economic output and 10,663 jobs; in Springfield, $2 billion in economic output and 8,832 jobs; in Pittsfield, $484 million and 2,184 jobs; and in Barnstable County, $578 million and 2,619 jobs.

In the Providence-New Bedford-Fall River area, the numbers totaled $5 billion in economic output and 20,038 jobs, and in the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass.-New Hampshire region, $23.5 billion and 86,380 jobs.

Dr. Coombs stated that the report, while highlighting the economic impact of physicians, also emphasizes the critical need to improve the physician practice environment in the state.

This program aired on March 23, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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Carey Goldberg Editor, CommonHealth
Carey Goldberg is the editor of WBUR's CommonHealth section.



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