Nongovernmental, nonprofit organizations make up the majority of U.S. health care systems. Of the country's 419 systems, 69.7 percent are nonprofit, 21.5 percent are for-profit, investor-owned organizations and 8.8 percent are government owned.

The six largest systems each have 100 or more affiliates, which account for 785, or 21 percent, of system hospitals. Three of those systems are found in Tennessee: HCA, Community Health Systems and QHR.

On the other end of the spectrum, 283 systems each have five or fewer hospitals, which total 843, or 23 percent, of affiliated hospitals.

Metrics demonstrate that quality care is delivered across all sizes of systems. Percentages for top performers in HQA core measures, patient satisfaction and risk-adjusted readmission differ by less than 1.8 percent between large and small systems.

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For more information on AHA data, contact the AHA Resource Center at or 312-422-2050.

Coming in June

Which new hospital services are gaining momentum? In the next issue, we'll spotlight new types of facilities and service lines.