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The Top 10 Largest Health Systems of the U.S.

A health systems is a group of healthcare providers who provide services to a particular community or area. Depending on the location and type of facility, they can be large or small. Some may also cater to specific health conditions.

The WHO conceptually defines a system of health as “all organizations, people and actions whose primary goal is to promote, restore and maintain health.” A good system of health provides quality services to all people whenever and wherever they need them.

Health systems are focused on improving patient outcomes and serving their communities; they also often serve as thought leaders and advocates for important activities in medicine and health.

What is a Health System, and how does it work?

A health system is a group of people, institutions and resources that support, provide and improve health outcomes. The question “what is the biggest hospital in the US” definitely rose in your mind.  

The definition of a healthcare system will change over time, as even large health systems can have different approaches to care coordination, and patients may receive care in different ways.

However, some characteristics can be applied to almost all health systems.

  • A health system, in general, is committed to providing quality care and preserving a healthy community. The organization operates at least one healthcare facility, such as a hospital.
  • At least one group of doctors provides comprehensive care.
  • The doctors are connected to the healthcare facility through common ownership or joint management.

Top 10 Health Systems by Net Patient Revenue

Name of the Health System

Total Net Patient Revenue

HCA Healthcare (FKA Hospital Corporation of America).




Dignity Health


Ascension Health


Northwell Health (AKA North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System).


Cleveland Clinic Health System


NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System


Trinity Health (FKA CHE Trinity Health).


Tenet Healthcare


Providence St Joseph Health (AKA Providence).



Data from Definitive Healthcare’s Hospitals & IDNs Database. The net patient revenue is the sum of all member hospitals’ financial information reported in the April 2021 Medicare Cost Report. The July 2021 Medicare Cost Report is scheduled. Accessible June 20, 21

The combined net patient revenue for the top healthcare systems listed above was approximately $226 billion in April 2021. This makes these networks an attractive sales and marketing opportunity to organizations looking to enter the healthcare market.

We’ve seen many health systems act as IDNs and group buying organizations (GPOs). for their member hospital. Providers use price negotiators such as GPOs and IDNs to reduce financial risk due to uncertainties in the healthcare industry. This is a cost-saving strategy that can increase market share, reduce costs and leverage. Definitive Healthcare data shows that 93% of U.S. hospitals have a GPO, up from 84% in 2019.

Important to remember that IDNs and GPOs may be separate entities. To better serve the community’s needs, IDNs or small independent practices may work with vendors in the area they do.

Their small size could prevent them from getting better deals. These organizations might turn to GPOs or IDNs to maximize their bargaining power to act as price negotiators.

To create a strong business strategy, your sales and marketing teams must first determine the relationships among your prospects.

Top 10 largest health systems by member hospitals

Hospital Network Name

Networked Hospitals

HCA Healthcare (FKA Hospital Corporation of America).226


Universal Health Services183

Department of Veterans Affairs (AKA Veterans Health Administration).168

Select Medical Corporation 135

Encompass Health Corporation FKA HealthSouth128

Ascension Health 124

Community Health Systems (AKA CHS).103

LifePoint Health (FKA LifePoint Hospitals).91

Tenet Healthcare 90


Definitive Healthcare’s Hospitals & IDNs data. The April 2021 Medicare Cost Report Release and proprietary Definitive Healthcare data are the sources of health system data. July 2021 is the next scheduled Medicare Cost Report Release.

Collectively, the largest health systems in the U.S. manage more than 1400 hospitals–just over 20% of 10 Key Strategies to Sell to IDNs & GPOs.

This 60-minute conversation will give you a deeper understanding of the best strategies for working with IDNs, health systems, and GPOs. It will also explain why these strategies have been successful.


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