How many doctors work at U.S. hospitals?
Healthcare providers focus on hundreds of medical specialties from primary care to cardiology and orthopedic surgery. There are millions of clinical providers that see and treat patients, as well as millions more healthcare and research experts that advance the field every day.
In the United States, estimates for the number of doctors, or providers with a medical degree, range from several hundred thousand to more than 1 million. Estimates for allied healthcare providers – nurse practitioners (NPs), physician assistants (PAs), physical therapists, and mental health specialists – in the U.S. are an additional few million people.
In this Healthcare Insight, we review the number of affiliated providers at nearly 6,600 U.S. hospitals tracked in the Definitive Healthcare HospitalView product. Results in this analysis are based on monthly updates made to our database sourced from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Care Compare website. The number represents the number of providers who submit their largest number of claims with the facility.
What is the average number of providers at a hospital?
On average, each U.S. hospital has about 209 affiliated providers. The number may include non-physician providers such as NPs and PAs and is based on the reported number of affiliated providers for 6,579 hospitals tracked in HospitalView. In total, nearly 1.4 million providers are affiliated with hospital facilities across the country.
How does the average number of providers at a hospital compare by bed size?
Larger hospital facilities also have a higher number of providers. Hospitals with 100 beds or less have an average number of providers that is also less than 100. Hospitals with more than 250 beds average 756 affiliated providers. These larger hospitals can offer a larger variety of services and levels of care, such as cancer care, that require a high number of providers to cover the different service lines.
Average number of providers by hospital bed size
How does the average number of providers at a hospital compare by region?
Hospitals in the southwest, southeast, and Midwest average between 140 and 195 providers per hospital.
Hospitals in the northeast tend to have more healthcare providers with an average of 337 per hospital. Some of the largest hospitals by bed size are in the northeastern region, including hospitals in New York City and Boston, Massachusetts. As seen in the section above, larger hospitals average higher total numbers of providers.
Average number of providers by hospital location
Fig 2. Data is from the Definitive Healthcare HospitalView product and sourced from monthly updates to the CMS Care Compare website. Accessed March 2023.
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