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Study: Largest U.S. nonprofit hospitals saw significant revenue, asset growth

Written on Jul 8, 2019

The nation's largest nonprofit hospitals saw their combined net assets grow 23.6% to $203.1 billion, from fiscal year 2016 to fiscal year 2017, according to a report from, a nonprofit government watchdog.

For the report, researchers examined federal and state payment data obtained through the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 and the Freedom of Information Act.

They chose 82 nonprofit hospitals based on a list compiled by Axios of the nation's largest, most dominant nonprofit hospital systems. Auditors then analyzed financial information from the primary nonprofit organization using the most recent IRS 990 tax forms published at ProPublica. 

Key findings:

  • The 82 studied nonprofit hospitals saw $296.6 billion in revenue for their flagship entity in fiscal year 2017.

  • Nonprofit hospitals reporting the highest revenue for their flagship entity in fiscal year 2017 were Kaiser Foundation in Oakland, Calif. ($54 billion); Partners HealthCare in Boston ($12.7 billion); UPMC in Pittsburgh ($12.5 billion); Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. ($11.1 billion); and Dignity Health in San Francisco ($9.9 billion).

  • The 82 studied nonprofit hospitals collectively reported expenses of $283.1 billion in fiscal year 2017.

  • The report found that the total of combined net assets of the 82 nonprofit hospitals was $203.1 billion in fiscal year 2017, compared to $164.2 billion the year prior.

  • Ascension in St. Louis (1,211%); Highmark Health in Pittsburgh (271%); Baylor Scott & White Health in Dallas (247%); and Texas Health Resources in Arlington (146%) reported the largest year-over-year percentage increases in net assets.

  • The 82 nonprofit hospitals spent $29.75 million on compensation to their single most highly compensated employee, researchers said.

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