How much to we in the U.S. spend on medical care? Here are the facts (2012 statistics):

The percentage of money spent on health care against what Americans spend for everything else (gross national product) is 17.2%, for a total of – hold onto your hat — $2.8 trillion. Of that, hospitals got $882+ billion, providers (physicians) $565 billion, prescription drugs 263.3 billion, and other professional services (physical therapy, optometry, chiropractic) $76.4 million. That’s about $9000 per person.

Who Paid for it?

The Federal government covered 26% of medical costs, with Medicaid 421.2 billion, Medicare, 572.5 billion, and private health insurance 917.0 billion. Patients paid 328.2 billion in out of pocket costs on their health plans.

The question is important because hospital charges represent about a third of total health care spending. It’s more than what’s spent on doctors, drugs, nursing homes or any other category-type of care.

Physicians engaged in patient care generated $1.6 trillion in economic activity and supported 10 million jobs nationwide in 2012, according to a new report by the American Medical Association. Physicians thus had a greater economic impact than did higher education, legal services, and any other player in health care.

Furthermore, the expenditures for physician services show that for every dollar spent for their services created an additional $1.62 in other business activity. That makes doctors major economic contributors for jobs, real estate, office overhead, and of course taxes in the communities served. The extrapolated contribution in actual dollars shows that astonishing $1.6 trillion. Not to mention, those same physicians generate substantial revenue for the hospitals, projected at $1.4 million PER PHYSICIAN per year.

Regulation and Economics

Clearly, government representatives and agencies pushing for lower physician reimbursement and continually placing more regulatory road blocks into private practice need to more thoroughly understand the real economics of the process before initiating ever more policies. It becomes far less appealing to spend the years required in medical training to embark on a career that is so mentally and physically intense to anticipate wasting so much valuable time on issues that steal away the time spent practicing medicine.

Hospitals, ever constantly on the lookout for either survival or profits continue to buy up private practices, but that action means the physician economic contribution will decrease accordingly.


In the trenches, the ancillary staff shoulder much of the work required to make a practice work, medical assistants, nurses, managers, coders and billers. is committed to provide the training to do a great job for providers, whether doctors or hospitals.