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Healthcare Insights

Hospitals with the highest salary expenses

Hospital salaries for physicians, nurses, executives, and staff are one of the biggest expense categories for hospitals.

These costs have risen in recent years, especially as the Covid-19 pandemic led to increased rates of physician burnout that culminated in staffing shortages across the country. Hospitals and health systems continue to address these shortages through increased utilization of contract labor.

Hospital financial data points like salary and contract labor help staffing and recruiting companies to better target healthcare organization prospects and be able to identify new opportunities in their markets.

How much do hospitals spend on employee salaries each year?

According to financial data from our HospitalView product, the average hospital salary expense was $113 million in 2022, the most recent full year of data available. Individual hospital salary expenses ranged from $250k a year to more than $3 billion, with a median value of $51.2 million.

Hospital salary expenses increased by about 5% on average each year between 2018 and 2022. In comparison, total hospital operating expenses increased at about 7% in the same timeframe.

The following table lists the U.S. hospitals with the highest accrued salary expenses, according to 2022 data from more than 3,700 U.S. hospitals.

Top 20 hospitals with highest total salary expense in 2022

RankDefinitive IDHospital nameLocationTotal salary expenseExplore dataset
1541974NewYork-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical CenterNew York, NY$3,728,652,302 Explore
23120Cleveland Clinic Main CampusCleveland, OH$3,114,335,709 Explore
32843Tisch HospitalNew York, NY$2,504,008,772 Explore
4273024Montefiore Hospital - Moses CampusBronx, NY$2,413,796,263 Explore
53742Vanderbilt University Medical CenterNashville, TN$2,322,605,075 Explore
6588Stanford Hospital - 300 Pasteur DrStanford, CA$2,186,201,187 Explore
7560UCSF Helen Diller Medical Center at Parnassus HeightsSan Francisco, CA$2,076,114,114 Explore
81973Massachusetts General HospitalBoston, MA$2,014,997,752 Explore
92828Long Island Jewish Medical CenterNew Hyde Park, NY$1,899,706,472 Explore
10873AdventHealth OrlandoOrlando, FL$1,813,697,538 Explore
112824North Shore University HospitalManhasset, NY$1,804,105,884 Explore
12430Cedars-Sinai Medical CenterLos Angeles, CA$1,711,659,223 Explore
132096University HospitalAnn Arbor, MI$1,667,857,204 Explore
14515University of California Davis Medical CenterSacramento, CA$1,504,787,636 Explore
153003Atrium Health Carolinas Medical CenterCharlotte, NC$1,440,374,743 Explore
16774Memorial Regional HospitalHollywood, FL$1,438,739,500 Explore
17596Santa Clara Valley Medical CenterSan Jose, CA$1,407,865,553 Explore
183975John Sealy HospitalGalveston, TX$1,359,863,591 Explore
19845Jackson Memorial HospitalMiami, FL$1,355,061,129 Explore
201969Brigham and Women's HospitalBoston, MA$1,352,764,859 Explore

Fig. 1 Data is from the Definitive Healthcare HospitalView product. Data is sourced from the Medicare Cost Report. Accessed May 2024.

Which hospitals have the highest employee salary expenses?

NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City spent more than $3.7 billion on hospital salary expenses in 2022. Next, the Cleveland Clinic spent $3.1 billion and Tisch Hospital spent $2.5 billion on salary expenses. These three hospitals are also the top three hospitals in the U.S. by net patient revenue and are leading academic medical centers.

Not surprisingly, 10 of the top 20 hospitals with the highest salary expenses in the United States are located in California or New York. This directly correlates to both state’s population size and high cost of living.

Learn more

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