Doctors really pull in the money for hospitals – to the tune of $2.4 million a year per facility on average, according to a survey of hospital CFOs by physician search firm Merritt Hawkins.

Think that's a lot? You can probably expect it to grow. The latest figures represent a 52 percent increase over 2016 data. Specialists in particular are significant revenue generators, the CFOS say, with cardiovascular surgeons, invasive cardiologists, neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons all generating more than $3 million in revenue each per year.

"The value of physician care is not only related to the quality of patient outcomes," says Travis Singleton, Merritt Hawkins executive vice president. "Physicians continue to drive the financial health and viability of hospitals, even in a health care system that is evolving towards value-based payments."

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Katie Kuehner-Hebert

Katie Kuehner-Hebert is a freelance writer based in Running Springs, Calif. She has more than three decades of journalism experience, with particular expertise in employee benefits and other human resource topics.