Cardiologists alone can generate millions in revenue annually, according to a new national survey of revenues generated for hospitals by doctors.

The survey, conducted by Merrit, Hawkins & Associations, states that a single, full-time invasive cardiologist generates $2.66 million annually for his or her affiliated hospital. A physician will generate about $1.5 million in net revenue for his or her affiliated hospital.

The survey asked hospital chief financial officers to quantify how much revenue a single physician in 17 specialties generated for their hospitals in the last 12 months. This included both net inpatient and outpatient revenue derived from patient referrals, tests, and procedures performed in the hospital.

Other findings of the survey included:

  • $2.3 million annually from an orthopedic surgeon
  • $2.2 million for a non-invasive cardiologist
  • $2.1 million for a neurosurgeon
  • $1.99 million for a general internist
  • $697,516 annually for a pediatrician
  • $584,310 for an ophthalmologist
  • $557,916 for a neurologist


“The physician’s pen is still the most powerful tool in health care,” said Joseph Hawkins, CEO or Merrit, Hawkins & Associates, adding that the survey underscores the central role physicians play in the health care delivery system.

“Patients are not admitted to the hospital or discharged, tests ordered, or procedures performed without a physician’s signature. Hospitals depend on doctors to drive patient care, which in turns drives revenue.”