Top magnet hospitals by operating expense

Every hospital is committed to providing the best possible care to the patients and communities that it serves. However, some hospitals go above and beyond. These “Magnet hospitals” are the medical facilities that specifically demonstrate excellence and innovation in nursing and patient care.  

Magnet recognition is the highest credential for hospitals in the United States. Hospitals may be awarded this status by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), which is a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association (ANA).  

Magnet hospital status is highly sought after by nurses looking for new career opportunities or resources and training to further develop their skills.  

The Magnet hospital designation can have tangible benefits for hospitals, too. According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, Magnet hospitals have: 

  • Lower turnover 
  • Lower vacancy rates 
  • Higher average length of employment 
  • More positive patient outcomes than non-Magnet hospitals 

Below, we’ve ranked the top 15 magnet hospitals in the U.S. by total operating expense.  

Top 15 magnet hospitals ranked by operating expense 

Hospital Name 


Definitive ID 

Net Patient Revenue 

Total Operating Expenses 

New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center 





Cleveland Clinic Main Campus 





Vanderbilt University Medical Center 





Stanford Hospital 





Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center 





Massachusetts General Hospital 





UCSF Helen Diller Medical Center at Parnassus Heights 





University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center 





University Hospital 





IU Health Methodist Hospital 





Cedars-Sinai Medical Center 





Yale New Haven Hospital 





Brigham and Womens Hospital 





Mount Sinai Medical Center (AKA the Mount Sinai Hospital) 





Long Island Jewish Medical Center 





Fig 1. Data from Definitive Healthcare’s HospitalView database. Data is from October 2021 Medicare Cost Report release. Data accessed May 2022. 

Which Magnet hospital has the highest operating expenses? 

The New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center ranks number one in our list of the top Magnet hospitals. It has a total operating expense of $7,240,896,211. Other Magnet hospitals that rank highly include Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Stanford Hospital, found in Ohio and Tennessee, respectively. Each hospital has an approximate total operating expense of about $5.3B.  

The top 15 Magnet hospitals have a combined total operating expense of about $67B, which accounts for about 17% of all Magnet hospitals we track using HospitalView. As of May 2021, 8.9 percent of U.S. hospitals, or 576 hospitals, have Magnet status. 

Many of these medical facilities also appear on our list of the top 50 hospitals in the U.S. ranked by net patient revenue. These results aren’t too surprising, as all the Magnet hospitals shown in the table are found in high population states and are near or within major cities.  

What is a Magnet hospital? 

Magnet recognition is the highest credential for hospitals in the U.S.  

The purpose of the Magnet designation is to identify qualities of nursing excellence and standardize it to lead to better patient outcomes. For nurses, Magnet hospitals cultivate a highly collaborative culture and focus on continuing education and development at every stage of their careers. Infection rate, mortality rate and length of stay are all lower on average at a Magnet hospital.  

What are the five components of the magnet model? 

The ANCC awards Magnet status when a hospital shows a high standard of excellence in five areas: 

  1. Transformational leadership: Supporting and advocating for strong nursing leaders at every level. 
  2. Structural empowerment: Recognizing nursing contributions and committing to the decentralization of decision-making. 
  3. Exemplary professional practice: Show competence and accountability in professional practices. This also includes systematically measuring care and outcomes.  
  4. New knowledge, innovations and improvements: Requiring the incorporation of research and evidence-based practice into clinical and operational processes.  
  5. Empirical outcomes: Emphasizing positive outcomes across the organization, the workforce, the community and the patient.  

Achieving Magnet status takes time and money. It generally takes a little over four years and approximately $2M to earn credentials from the ANCC. Despite these costs, however, many Magnet hospitals see a $1M increase in revenue per year following their accreditation.  

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