Health care now the number one employer in Spokane

Government is no longer the largest employer – health care is:

Here is the same chart, but rotated vertically, since our eyes and brain process relative sizes better vertically than horizontally. Due to scaling – the horizontal chart would not fit at full size – the vertical dimension below is larger, but that is the actual chart size.

  1. Healthcare
  2. Government
  3. Retail
  4. Hotels and restaurants
  5. Manufacturing

And after Manufacturing, the categories fall in to the noise level.

This is not a sustainable trajectory. I was just looking at billing data for some procedures at hospitals outside Spokane.

  • $6,600 – Doctor’s surgery fee for 2 1/2 hour surgery that is normally an outpatient procedure
  • $40,700 – Overnight hospital stay (routine), agreed to a $14,000 payment from the insurance company
  • $12,000 – 45 minute outpatient tonsillectomy procedure
  • $24,000 – 45 minute outpatient bunionectomy

Most of the above do not represent the total set of fees associated with the service.

The more we grow health care locally, the less money we have available for productive business pursuits.  The health care pricing trajectory is not sustainable and will eventually consume the entire country if continued.


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