Thursday, June 9, 2011

One-Fifth of Economy to Rely on Health Industry by 2019

Consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers has released a somewhat vague statistic stating that by 2019, 20% of the U.S. economy will be occupied by healthcare spending. ComputerWorld’s article breaks down this statistic further, revealing that the number includes money spent on health technologies like mobile apps and even health-related video games. However PWC determined these numbers, the article makes it clear what we all know: That healthcare is a massive part of our country’s spending.

Part of this growth lies in the fact that the health industry has become a major creator of jobs in recent years. ComputerWorld’s article states that “nearly one in three American adults have worked, now work or would like to work in healthcare.” This is a staggering number, considering that the same statistic was 65% lower one decade ago.

The increase in the health industry workforce leads to an increase in the purchase of health technologies, which only makes sense. As sensitive, compliance-controlled data needs to be shared with more and more people, the technology ensuring the security of that data needs to improve. Before long, the market becomes self-sustaining. An increase in health companies leads to an increase in health workers, which in turn leads to an increase in compliance technology, which needs more health workers, and so on.

It is easy to see how these numbers grow, and PWC’s results seem logical, if perhaps somewhat sensational. The healthcare industry is currently running at approximately 17% of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product and grows faster than other sectors of the economy, such as education, transportation, and agriculture. By 2017, CMS, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, projects healthcare spending will be one fifth of GDP at 19.5%, and as we review new and upcoming regulation, it makes healthcare an attractive marketplace not only for information technology, manufacturing, but all downstream entities tied to healthcare.


Pam Argeris is a thought leader in the Healthcare Industry and possesses extensive, hands-on experience with CMS compliance, and multiple regulatory bodies such as NCQA, JACHO, and DOI. In her role at Merrill Corp., Pam focuses on developing solutions for compliance and quality assurance, delivered in a cost effective manner to improve beneficiary and prospect communications. You can contact Pam at

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