Since 1930, the United States has provided medical services for war veterans at Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals. Veterans that served in the active army, naval, or air service with an honorable discharge all qualify for VA services.
Serving more than nine million veterans each year, the VA is the largest healthcare system in the U.S. It’s comprised of hundreds of hospitals, medical centers, clinics, and more.
VA hospitals continue to impact the broader healthcare industry. They often have a notable contribution to biomedical and clinical research and are a leader in the education of medical professionals.
Below, we have a list ranking the top veterans’ hospitals by the number of staffed beds.
50 largest VA hospitals by number of staffed beds
||# of staffed beds
||Biloxi VA Medical Center
||Southern Oregon VA Rehabilitation Center (AKA White City VA Medical Center)
||Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center
||West Los Angeles VA Medical Center
||Edward Hines Jr VA Hospital
||Cincinnati VA Medical Center
||West Roxbury VA Medical Center
||Brockton VA Medical Center
||Bath VA Medical Center
||James A Haley Veterans Hospital
||St Cloud VA Medical Center
||Bruce W Carter VA Medical Center
||H John Heinz III Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center
||Perry Point VA Medical Center
||John J Cochran Veterans Hospital
||Michael E DeBakey VA Medical Center
||San Juan VA Medical Center
||Alvin C York Veterans Administration Medical Center
||James J Peters VA Medical Center
||Minneapolis VA Medical Center
||Coatesville VA Medical Center
||Jennifer Moreno Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center (FKA San Diego VA Medical Center)
||Tucson VA Medical Center
||Seattle VA Medical Center
||Dallas VA Medical Center
||Malcom Randall Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center
||Joseph Maxwell Cleland Atlanta VA Medical Center (AKA Atlanta VA Medical Center)
||Battle Creek VA Medical Center
||Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center (AKA Richmond VA Medical Center)
||Audie L Murphy VA Hospital
||West Palm Beach VA Medical Center
||Tomah VA Medical Center
||Memphis VA Medical Center
||Fort Wayne VA Medical Center
||Nashville VA Medical Center
||Tibor Rubin VA Medical Center
||Portland VA Medical Center - Main Campus
||Kerrville VA Medical Center
||Canandaigua VA Medical Center
||William Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center
||West Haven VA Medical Center
||Sheridan VA Medical Center
||Doris Miller Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center (FKA Waco VA Medical Center)
||Jesse Brown VA Medical Center
||New Orleans VA Medical Center
||Lexington VA Medical Center - Troy Bowling Campus
||Lexington VA Medical Center - Franklin R Sousley Campus
||Captain James A Lovell Federal Health Care Center
||Buffalo VA Medical Center
||Milwaukee VA Medical Center (AKA Clement J Zablocki VA Medical Center)
Fig 1. Data from the Atlas Dataset. VA hospitals do not report financial data to CMS or commercial entities. Data accurate as of March 2023.
Which veterans’ hospitals have the most staffed beds?
From the table above we can see that Biloxi Medical Center in Mississippi has the most staffed beds at 716. Also among the top VA hospitals are Southern Oregon VA Rehabilitation Center, Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, West Los Angeles VA Medical Center and Edward Hines Jr. VA hospital. These facilities are in Oregon, Ohio, California, and Illinois respectively.
Despite many of the top VA hospitals being in the southern or western regions of the U.S., most VA hospitals are clustered in the Northeast and Midwest. This likely correlates to the higher population density of veterans in these areas.
What are Veterans Affairs hospitals?
VA hospitals are medical facilities run by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that provide healthcare services to eligible veterans, their dependents, and survivors. These hospitals are generally well-regarded for their quality of care.
While VA hospitals prioritize patients who incur service-related permanent disabilities, these facilities provide a wide range of services common to traditional hospitals. This includes surgery, critical care, pharmacy, primary care, specialty care, rehabilitation services, mental health, and more.
Specialized services and programs at VA hospitals
VA hospitals have played an important role in the treatment of veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI), with many facilities offering specialized programs and services for these conditions.
Like teaching hospitals, VA hospitals are known for their research programs, which have led to many important medical breakthroughs. For example, the VA invented the first clinically successful cardiac pacemaker.
Many VA hospitals dedicate resources to advancing medical research in war-related conditions such as PTSD, traumatic amputations, and illnesses related to the Gulf War, among others.
Veterans integrated service networks
There are 18 Veterans Integrated Services Networks (VISNs) in the United States, with only two representing a single state. Like an integrated delivery network (IDN), a VISN is a regional care system. The ultimate goal of a VISN is to meet local care needs and improve population health access.
VISNs handle the day-to-day functions of VA hospitals. They also provide clinical and administrative support for these facilities. The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) oversees VISNs and VA hospital performance.
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