Healthcare Insights

How many hospitals are in each U.S. region?

Hospitals offer a broad range of healthcare services, from essential medical care to medical training and research. They are usually distinguished from other healthcare facilities by their capacity for inpatient care.

In recent years, claims data suggests that certain care is increasingly shifting away from hospitals to outpatient sites such as ambulatory surgery centers or outpatient surgery centers. The cost to patients and payors can be significantly less at outpatient sites.

Using data from Definitive Healthcare’s HospitalView product, we’ve determined the number of active hospitals in each U.S. region in 2023. Keep reading to see which regions lead the nation.

Number of hospitals in the U.S. by geographic region

RankRegion# of hospitals% of all active US hospitalsExplore dataset
6US Territories751.00%Explore

Fig. 1. Analysis of active hospitals using data from Definitive Healthcare’s HospitalView product. The number of facilities represents only those hospitals listed as “active” in the Definitive Healthcare database as of January 2023. Accessed April 19, 2023.

Which region has the most hospitals?

The Southeast has more hospitals than any other U.S. region, with 1,990 facilities. That’s nearly one-third of 7,341 active hospitals in the U.S.

The Midwest has the second-highest number of hospitals at 1,920 facilities, followed by the West, with 1,174.

Only 75 hospitals are in U.S. territories including American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Hospital numbers seem to roughly correlate with population. California, Texas, and Florida—the country’s most populous states—are also the states with the largest numbers of hospitals.

What are the different types of hospitals in the U.S.?

When most people picture a hospital, they’re probably thinking of a short-term acute care hospital. These hospitals treat a broad range of illnesses and injuries, especially those that pose urgent health threats. Patients who require a short-term hospital stay for recovery following a surgical procedure are also treated here.

Conversely, long-term acute care hospitals specialize in the treatment of patients with serious medical conditions that require care on an ongoing basis. These facilities typically manage patients who require more care than they can receive from a rehabilitation center or skilled nursing facility.

A critical access hospital (CAH) is a special facility designation from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and is given to eligible hospitals located in rural areas. These institutions usually have fewer than 25 inpatient beds and maintain an average stay of 96 hours or less.

Children’s hospitals, psychiatric hospitals and rehabilitation hospitals are considered specialty hospitals due to the specific patient populations they serve and the specialized care they provide.

Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals are facilities that provide care for people who served in the active military, naval or air service and were discharged with a rating of Honorable or General under Honorable Conditions.

Department of Defense hospitals, also known as military hospitals or military treatment facilities, are owned and operated by the U.S. armed forces. Their services are often reserved for active-duty members of the military and their dependents.

Religious non-medical healthcare institutions are facilities that provide nonmedical care and services to people in need but who choose to rely upon a religious method of healing because they feel that acceptance of medical services would be inconsistent with their religious beliefs. Patients receive nonmedical services such as assistance with daily living, nutrition, and comfort.

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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.