Healthcare Insights

Top 20 largest California health systems by number of beds

California is the largest state in the U.S by population. Its 40 million residents rely on thousands of health centers across the state for their medical needs. Many of these healthcare facilities are part of broader integrated delivery networks (IDNs) so that patients’ needs can be properly addressed across a wide range of specialties.

Using Definitive Healthcare’s HospitalView product, we created a list of the 20 IDNs with the most beds in California. The number of staffed beds within a facility or IDN provides a useful metric to measure its patient capacity.

IDNs with the most staffed beds in California

RankIDN name# of staffed bedsExplore dataset
1Kaiser Permanente8,854Explore
2CommonSpirit Health6,015Explore
3University of California Health 4,734Explore
4Sutter Health3,981Explore
5Providence St Joseph Health 3,681Explore
6Adventist Health 2,690Explore
7Tenet Healthcare2,459Explore
8Prime Healthcare Services2,393Explore
9HCA Healthcare 1,599Explore
10Universal Health Services1,571Explore
11Department of Veterans Affairs 1,534Explore
12Santa Clara Valley Healthcare 1,201Explore
13MemorialCare Health System1,191Explore
14Stanford Medicine1,169Explore
15KPC Group1,139Explore
17Prospect Medical Holdings1,053Explore
18Signature Healthcare Services857Explore
19US Department of Defense Military Health System658Explore
20Vibra Healthcare596Explore

Fig. 1. Data is from Definitive Healthcare’s HospitalView product and aggregated from the most recent 12-month interval tracked in our database. Data is sourced from the October 2023 Medicare Cost Report release.  Accessed February 2024.

Non-profit Kaiser Permanente, known for its vertically integrated model of care delivery, has the most staffed beds in California, with more than 8,800 beds. This Oakland-based health system also has facilities in Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Maryland, Virginia, and Georgia and runs the largest managed care organization in the United States. As a closed network system, Kaiser’s hospitals exclusively serve members of the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan.

Kaiser is also exploring plans to acquire Geisinger Health and create a new organization called Risant Health. The merger, which is pending regulatory approval as of February 2024, would expand Kaiser’s footprint to Pennsylvania and could pave the way for Kaiser to become a national player as it works to build a network of health systems in value-based contracts.

The IDN with the second highest number of staffed beds in CA is non-profit CommonSpirit Health, with more than 6,100 staffed beds in California. This Catholic health system is headquartered in Chicago and currently operates 32 hospitals in the state of California. CommonSpirit was formed through the merger of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) and Dignity Health in 2019,  creating one of the largest healthcare systems in the country. The IDN’s healthcare facilities in California are operated through Dignity Health, which has numerous locations across the western United States.

In third place for the IDN with the most staffed beds in CA is non-profit University of California Health, headquartered in Oakland. This health system has more than 4,700 staffed beds across the state. It’s the only health system on the list that operates exclusively in California, with 22 hospitals in the state. Its hospitals and academic health centers are currently ranked among the best in California and the nation.

What are the largest hospitals in California?

Determining the largest hospitals in California depends on the metric used. A few common ways to define the largest hospitals are by number of staffed beds, number of inpatient discharges, net patient revenue (NPR), and square footage.

As of February 2024, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, a non-profit academic medical center located in Los Angeles, was the largest hospital in California based on number of staffed beds and number of discharges.

However, several hospitals in California are widely recognized for their size, comprehensive services, and reputation, including Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, University of California Davis Medical Center, Community Regional Medical Center, and more.

Understanding the value of staffed beds counts

The number of staffed beds is a vital measure in healthcare operations, essential for assessing hospital capacity, planning healthcare delivery, and ensuring IDNs meet patient needs. For IDNs, staffed beds indicate the network's inpatient care capacity across affiliated hospitals. It also helps gauge bed utilization rates, reflecting how effectively hospitals use available capacity. High utilization rates may signal overcrowding and challenges in admitting new patients.

Comparing staffed bed numbers across hospitals and healthcare systems also supports benchmarking and performance evaluation. IDNs can assess their capacity against industry standards and regional benchmarks, identifying areas for improvement. Additionally, analyzing bed utilization trends can inform strategic planning and addressing areas of unmet need within the network.

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