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Healthcare Insights

Largest nonprofit hospital systems

There are more than 900 healthcare systems, or integrated delivery networks (IDNs), in the U.S. Of those, more than three-quarters are nonprofit healthcare systems.

In this Healthcare Insight, we use data from the Definitive Healthcare HospitalView product to review the largest nonprofit healthcare systems in the U.S. by number of staffed hospital beds.

Top 10 nonprofit health systems in the U.S.

RankHospital nameCityStateNPR# of discharges# of staffed bedsOwnershipExplore dataset
1Department of Veterans Affairs WashingtonDCN/AN/A25,260Governmental - FederalExplore
2CommonSpirit HealthChicagoIL$30.6B809,03919,405Voluntary nonprofit - ChurchExplore
3Ascension HealthSaint LouisMO$22.2B686,67417,111Voluntary nonprofit - ChurchExplore
4Trinity Health LivoniaMI$21.4B691,07315,035Voluntary nonprofit - ChurchExplore
5Advocate HealthCharlotteNC$20.1B509,28311,764Voluntary nonprofit - OtherExplore
6Providence St Joseph HealthRentonWA$17.6B414,32110,199Voluntary nonprofit - ChurchExplore
7Kaiser PermanenteOaklandCA$22.1B437,0579,819Voluntary nonprofit - OtherExplore
8AdventHealth Altamonte SpringsFL$12.8B416,3489,200Voluntary nonprofit - ChurchExplore
9Dignity HealthSan FranciscoCA$15B392,5028,103Voluntary nonprofit - ChurchExplore
10University of Pittsburgh Medical Center PittsburghPA$10.1B238,5787,113Voluntary nonprofit - OtherExplore

Fig. 1. Data is from the Definitive Healthcare HospitalView product, according to the most recent 12-month interval tracked in our database. Accessed April 2024.

What is the largest nonprofit health system in the U.S.?

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is the largest nonprofit health system in the U.S., with a network of over 160 hospitals and more than 25,000 beds nationwide. Its expansive reach and substantial infrastructure make it one of the most extensive healthcare systems in the country. While it’s not classified under traditional nonprofit organizations in the same way as private hospitals or healthcare systems, the VA provides healthcare services as a public institution funded by taxpayer dollars. It operates under a nonprofit model, focusing on serving its mission of providing medical care to eligible veterans. Alongside its healthcare services, the VA is known for its emphasis on research and innovation in the field of veteran healthcare.

Chicago, Illinois-based CommonSpirit Health follows closely behind, with more than 19,000 staffed beds. As a Catholic health system, CommonSpirit Health is guided by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (ERDs). These directives outline the ethical principles and moral obligations guiding Catholic healthcare institutions in providing medical care across various aspects of healthcare, including treatment, reproductive health, end-of-life care, and research.

In third place is Ascension Health, based in Saint Louis, Missouri, with more than 17,000 beds. Like CommonSpirit Health, Ascension operates as a voluntary nonprofit entity with ties to the Catholic church. Its scale underscores its significance as a major player among healthcare nonprofits and the U.S. healthcare landscape more broadly.

What is a nonprofit hospital system?

In HospitalView, we track three main types of healthcare system ownership: governmental, proprietary, and voluntary nonprofit. Governmental and voluntary nonprofit ownerships are considered non-profit healthcare systems while proprietary systems are for-profit.

Non-profit healthcare organizations typically enjoy tax-exempt status granted by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This status is contingent upon meeting certain criteria, such as providing charitable care, conducting community health needs assessments, and reinvesting revenues into patient care and community benefit programs.

What are the different types of for-profit and nonprofit healthcare systems?

Each of the three main types of healthcare system ownership are broken out into sub-types, including the following:


  • City
  • City-County
  • County
  • Federal
  • Hospital District
  • Other
  • State


  • Corporation
  • Individual
  • Other
  • Partnership

Voluntary nonprofit

  • Church
  • Other

Who is the largest non-governmental healthcare provider?

For-profit HCA Healthcare is considered the largest non-governmental healthcare provider in the U.S., based on bed count, hospital count, and net patient revenue. Explore our full list of the largest hospital systems in the U.S.

How many nonprofit health systems are in the U.S.?

Of the approximately 900 healthcare systems tracked in HospitalView, nearly 80% are listed as governmental or voluntary nonprofit organizations. This highlights the strong influence of public and nonprofit entities in the provision of healthcare services across the country. These hospitals can be valuable partners for businesses serving the healthcare industry. Understanding the range and reach of these nonprofit healthcare organizations can inform business decisions and strategies for reaching new customers within the medical nonprofits sector.

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Healthcare Insights are developed with healthcare commercial intelligence from the Definitive Healthcare platform. Want even more insights? Start a free trial now and get access to the latest healthcare commercial intelligence on hospitals, physicians, and other healthcare providers.