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Release of AHRQ’s Updated Compendium of U.S. Health Systems

A new version of AHRQ’s Compendium of U.S. Health Systems provides data that allows for the assessing of patterns in health system consolidation as well as changes in the landscape of health systems over time. The Compendium of U.S. Health Systems is composed of 637 U.S. health systems, defined to include at least one hospital and at least one group of physicians providing comprehensive care, and who are connected with each other and with the hospital through common ownership or joint management. A new Health Affairs blog cites 2018 data that’s been added to the compendium and highlights key characteristics of U.S. health systems:

  • Of 637 health systems in the United States, most operated in a single state and were owned by a nonprofit organization or a state or local government.
  • There was substantial variation in system size, including a small number of very large for-profit and church-operated systems that operated in two or more states.
  • The largest health systems had more than 10,000 hospital beds and/or 10,000 physicians.

The compendium was developed by AHRQ’s Comparative Health System Performance Initiative, which studies how healthcare delivery systems promote evidence-based practices and patient-centered outcomes research in delivering care.

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