Economic Impact of Healthcare in DFW

We all interact with the healthcare system. Individuals stop in at their doctor’s office for an annual physical or visit the pharmacy for a prescription refill. Business executives calculate and deduct the cost of care for employees from their budgets. And for more than 600,000 people in the North Texas region, interacting with the healthcare system means going to work each day to provide care and products for the region’s 6.5 million residents.

Healthcare is a big business in North Texas.

The industry makes up about 15 percent of the local economy—some $52 billion in gross metro product is created in healthcare alone. The industry provides jobs to more than 601,000 people in North Texas, and directly employs 331,000 people, with the majority—281,000 of those individuals—employed in the healthcare services sector in places like hospitals and doctors and dentists offices. The balance of the jobs are generated through indirect methods such as construction jobs for new facilities, and support services such as accounting and legal.

The healthcare industry created $13.3 billion in property income in 2010 in the form of rents, royalties, dividends, and corporate profits.  Many of the healthcare service delivery entities in the region operate as non-profits. Nonetheless, indirect taxes in the form of property taxes, sales taxes, and fees boosted the state and local public sector revenues by $2.9 billion.

Construction also plays an important role for North Texas healthcare. An expected $5.4 billion will be spent on facility upgrades to new facility projects from 2005-2016. These projects will generate about $10.7 billion of economic impact to the region, creating approximately 5,400 jobs per year (or 64,000 person years of employment).

The Dallas Regional Chamber works to recruit new companies to the region and focuses specifically on the healthcare sector. Many projects make the news headlines, like the new Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Others are more under the radar, but nevertheless are high-impact:

• Greatbatch relocates its headquarters to Frisco

• Healthpoint Biotherapeutics expands its cell therapy manufacturing plant in Fort Worth

Imogen locates a new manufacturing facility in Richardson

Along with these additions to the local healthcare scene, the U.S. Patent Office recently announced plans to open a satellite office in the Dallas region, providing an important new component in the healthcare innovation ecosystem.

My team at the Dallas Regional Chamber works to report on the healthcare sector on a regular basis. Through D Healthcare Daily, we will provide updates on the economic activity in the sector in North Texas, new innovations and startups happening here, university and institute research trends and funding announcements, companies moving into the region and, of course, continue to highlight the business of healthcare.

If you would like to learn more about the healthcare sector and its impact on the regional economy, visit our website to download our annual DFW Health Care Impact Brochure. The economic impact analysis was co-authored by the Dallas Regional Chamber and the University of North Texas Center for Economic Development and Research.

Sarah Carabias-Rush is managing director of economic development for the Dallas Regional Chamber. Contact her at