Report: Health Care Sector Made $1.6 Trillion in 2006

Physicians' offices accounted for $330 billion in revenue in 2006, while the dental profession made up another $87 billion of the $1.6 trillion in revenue of the health care and social assistance sector, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report. The report, 2006 Service Annual Survey: Health Care and Social Assistance, provides estimates such as revenue and sources of revenue for taxable and tax-exempt offices of physicians, hospitals, nursing care facilities, and social assistance services. It covers firms with paid employees. Health care and social assistance grew 6 percent in 2006, with a 7.1 percent increase the year before.

All four subsectors of health care and social services gained revenue from 2005. Revenue in 2006 was $654 billion for hospitals; $647 billion for ambulatory health care services, which includes offices of physicians, dentists, and other health practitioners such as chiropractors and optometrists; $149 billion for nursing and residential care facilities; and $117 billion for social assistance, which includes child and youth services, services for the elderly, and community food services.

The report shows kidney dialysis centers (11.3 percent) and social assistance services for the elderly and persons with disabilities (12 percent) both grew in 2006. The revenue for taxable employer firms in health care and social assistance sector was almost $779 billion, while tax-exempt employer firms was about $789 billion. Eighty-eight percent of hospital revenue comes from tax-exempt hospitals, while only 19 percent of the revenue of homes for the elderly comes from tax-exempt firms. Physicians' offices receive $163 billion of their revenue from health insurance; 34 billion comes directly from the patient. Medicare makes up 22 percent of physicians' revenue, and Medicaid another 5 percent.

At hospitals, patient out-of-pocket spending contributes $33 billion as a revenue source, while private health insurance adds $265 billion, the report show. Medicare and Medicaid represent $177 billion and $68 billion of revenue, respectively. Of the $31 billion of revenue for community care facilities for the elderly, $21 billion comes from the patient (equal to $6.77 of every $10), the largest source of revenue in this industry group.

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