The CORE was created in the Treasure Valley in January of 2011 by a group of local citizens who had exposure to healthcare, either as practitioners, business owners/leaders, government leaders, or interested citizens. The original mission was quite broad in scope. It was to influence and help grow the healthcare economy in Idaho. The original founders wished to help create “a dynamic environment that is supportive of entrepreneurs, small and growing business, healthcare and research related professionals and students.” To help with that effort we sought to build a model for research, innovation and economic development in these areas.
During our early building months, it became apparent that we lacked significant information and understanding of the healthcare economy and we needed to learn more. Board member David Sanna teamed up with a diverse team led by Steve Petersen, a healthcare economist who resides at the University of Idaho. The important data that we pulled together helped us focus on some achievable goals.
Some important statistics that have influenced our goal setting:
State of Idaho Economic Impacts of the Healthcare Sectors
Gross State Product of Healthcare Sector- $ 8.62 billion
Health Care Manufacturing and Research $307.3 million | 3.6% of sector
Ambulatory Health Care Services $ 4.3 billion | 50.3% of sector
Hospitals and Insurance $ 3.97 billion | 46.1% of sector
It is surely recognizable that the overall healthcare economy is dominated by two sectors whose growth may be primarily influenced by population growth. Ambulatory Health Care Services and Hospitals and insurance are dominated by population and usage. Any economic development efforts in this area would need to depend on significantly more data and research than we have done so far. In addition, the suggested impact of the Affordable Care Act could actually result in stultifying growth of those sectors. As a result of the massive and complex characteristics of these sectors, we chose to focus on the smaller slice of the healthcare economy and attempt to impact the Healthcare and Manufacturing subset. This is where MedTech became an attractive area of our work.
MedTech involves smaller business entities. Progress in stimulating this area, while it doesn’t move the big dial significantly, can begin to produce economic impact in ways that can provide jobs, improve science and open doors for other possibilities. An eye-opening piece of data is the comparison of wages of the three sectors.
Healthcare Manufacturing & Research
Total Comp: $400,649,915
Average: $ 52,703
Ambulatory Health Care Services
Total Comp: $ 5,156,264,382
Average: $ 43,824
Hospital & Insurance
Total Comp: $ 4,295,971,115
Average: $ 48,694
For this simple reason, it seems wiser to focus on the MedTech part of the healthcare economy where we can produce results and make an impact.
-By David Sanna, Director at The CORE
Join us in growing Idaho's MedTech Ecosystem.