For the Good of Illinois

Top 82 U.S. Non-Profit Hospitals: Quantifying Government Payments and Financial Assets

June 24, 2019 02:00 PM

Top 82 U.S. Non-Profit Hospitals:

Quantifying Government Payments and Financial Assets

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Our OpenTheBooks Oversight Report – Top 82 U.S. Non-Profit Hospitals, Quantifying Government Payments & Financial Assets studied the largest charitable healthcare providers. Taxpayers deserve to know whether our non-profit healthcare providers, which use our laws to structure themselves as charities, are truly working for patients.


The public should start by asking the most basic question:

Isn’t it time to open the books and post online all prices actually paid by patients?



- Top Ten Takeways -


1. The 82 largest U.S. non-profit hospitals recorded revenues of $296.6 billion for their primary entity in FY2017 (or latest year available). The largest systems ranked by revenues are Kaiser Foundation, Oakland, CA ($54 billion); Partners HealthCare, Somerville, MA ($12.7 billion); University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Group, Pittsburgh, PA ($12.5 billion); MayoClinic, Rochester, MN ($11.1 billion); and Dignity Health, San Francisco, CA ($9.9 billion).





2. Average net asset growth year-over-year for the 82 non-profit hospitals was 23.6 percent: $164.2 billion grew to $203.1 billion. The largest percentage increases in net assets were individually recorded by Ascension Health, St. Louis, MO(1211%); Highmark Health, Pittsburgh, PA (271%); Baylor Scott & White Health, Dallas, TX (247%); and Texas Health Resources, Arlington, TX (146%).


3. The 82 large non-profit healthcare providers paid out $297.5 million in compensation to their single most highly compensated employee. On average, the top executive in each organization made $3.5 million.


Here are the top five earners by non-profit provider: Banner Health, Phoenix, AZ ($21.6 million); Memorial Hermann Health, Houston, TX ($18.2 million); Ascension, St. Louis, MO ($13.6 million); Kaiser Foundation, Oakland, CA ($10.7 million); and Northwestern Memorial HealthCare, Chicago, IL ($10.6 million).


4. For comparison, the five for-profit corporations had revenues of $96 billion with disclosed expenses of $80 billion. Their net assets increased by $600 million last year – an increase in assets from $40.1 billion to $40.7 billion (1.5 % growth). The most highly compensated executive was Tenet HealthCare Corporation CEO who made $6.3 million. Furthermore, Medicare/Medicaid comprised 25 percent of their annual revenues.




5. Only 14 of the 82 non-profit organizations we studied properly disclosed the amount of revenues derived from Medicare/Medicaid on their IRS 990 returns last year. The 14 hospitals who disclosed their program service revenues had $100.2 billion in total revenues of which $28 billion came from Medicare/Medicaid (28%). Therefore, we estimate that the 82 non-profit hospitals did $83 billion in Medicare/Medicaid work last year. (See our memo for details on the IRS 990 lack of disclosure by 68 of the largest U.S. non-profit hospitals.)


6. Roughly $2 billion flowed into these non-profit organizations from federal agencies via grants primarily used for research (FY2018). The largest recipients were Partners HealthCare, Sommerville, MA ($903.4 million); Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN at $282.9 million followed by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in Philadelphia, PA ($182.6 million); Cleveland Clinic in Independence, OH ($101.6 million); and Kaiser Foundation in Oakland, CA ($78.6 million).


7. These large non-profit hospitals received charitable contributions of $5.2 billion last year (includes affiliated organizations). The largest recipients of charity (excluding government grants) were Partners HealthCare, Somerville, MA ($2.2 billion); Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN ($1.1 billion); Cleveland Clinic, Independence, OH ($179.3 million); Cedars-Sinai, Los Angeles, CA ($130.9 million); ProMedica, Toledo, OH ($124.7 million); and Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston, TX ($112.2 million).


8. The 82 non-profit hospital organizations collectively spent $26.4 million on lobbying last year. The top four providers with the most lobbying were University of Pittsburgh Medical Group, Pittsburgh, PA ($2.3 million); Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN ($1.8 million); Dignity Health, San Francisco, CA ($1.7 million); and Christus Health, Irving, TX ($1.3 million). Non-profits cannot use charitable contributions or government payments for lobbying purposes.


9. The non-profits must re-invest in their communities and therefore construction of new facilities is on-going. For example, in Illinois, the top contractor at Advocate Medical isn’t a healthcare service vendor, but a construction project manager ($26.1 million). Illinois lost population during the last ten-years. This pales in comparison to Partners HealthCare in Massachusetts – the top three vendors are construction contractors who reaped $191.4 million last year.


10. Neither the non-profit nor the for-profit hospital corporations disclose the real prices actually paid by their patients.


 To review the poll results from our subscriber email surveys, click here. 

 Read the full report, click here. 





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Donna Carlson, MD, MPH, JD
Redlands, CA
6/25/2019 07:15 PM

  Thanks to the team at for this research. It is clear from your concisely written report that the ultimate driver of the system is GREED. With the exception of those who abandon their professions to go over to the [administrative] dark side, the big money in healthcare is not being drained away by people who actually serve the sick: nurses, doctors, janitors, clerks, physical and occupational therapists, etc etc. It is depressing is to read the names of these instituions - Methodist, Baptist, Adventist, Catholic, Presbyterian, Lutheran [now, with Samaritan, "Banner"] - and to realize how far they've strayed from their religious roots. The Good Samaritan, were he here, would be appalled at these modern-day priests and levites who use his name and impersonate him as they walk past the sick in the dust of the Jericho Road. These men no longer fulfill the charitable commitments that originally qualified them for tax exemption as non-profits. Shame.