February 24, 2023
A battle of (growing) titans in healthcare
We’ve updated our annual comparison of the relative size of the largest healthcare companies, with the graphic below comparing 2022 revenues to 2019 for a sense of how different companies and industry sectors weathered the pandemic. The annual revenues of the five largest health systems in 2022 pale in comparison to the industry’s true giants—and the gap only widened over the pandemic. The largest health systems averaged just 5 percent annual growth since 2019, while the largest companies in each other healthcare subsector have grown revenues by over 10 percent annually. Unsurprisingly, the pandemic drove Pfizer’s revenue to a record $100B in 2022—over half of that was driven by the company’s COVID vaccine and antiviral treatment, Paxlovid. Amazon’s 2022 revenue was nearly double its pre-COVID level. While very little of that growth came from healthcare, it enabled the company to fund investments like its all-cash $3.9B purchase of One Medical, which closed this week. Even the nation’s largest health systems cannot compete with that kind of firepower, and looking beyond revenue paints an even more difficult picture. According to Kaufman Hall, although the median hospital has grown its revenue by 15 percent, it has seen expenses climb 20 percent, and lost 26 percent of margin since 2019.