Who Are the Best Healthcare Employers in the U.S.?


MHA and healthcare MBA students interviewing for internships and jobs at graduation would be wise to review three new rankings of employer quality in America’s healthcare industry. Although little correlation exists among the top-ranked employers in these survey results, these reports nevertheless provide interesting data that’s useful in formulating job search strategies.

In February 2022, Forbes released the latest edition of its annual survey of the employers in the United States best-liked by employees, titled “America’s Best Employers 2022.” The survey of workers at firms employing at least 1,000 people was conducted by the statistics platform Statista and interviewed a huge sample of 60,000 respondents. Statisticians generally consider a sample size above 60,000 sufficient to accurately predict the outcome of a Presidential election in the United States, so the Statista sample size was certainly large enough to identify a group of best-liked companies.

In terms of methodology, Statista asked the survey respondents to rate their employers on factors such as pay packages, working conditions, and career development opportunities. Participants also rated diversity, equity, and inclusion—essential considerations for most American employees in 2022.

And by asking participants how likely they’d be to recommend their employer to someone looking for a new job, Statista asked the participants the most important question in marketing research. With responses scaled from zero to ten, that “how likely are you to recommend” question results in a crucial average metric known as the Net Promoter Score, or NPS. We explain this metric’s tremendous significance in the sidebar below this article.

Thirty-five large hospital systems made the list, topped off by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and the Mayo Clinic’s flagship medical center in Rochester, Minnesota. Some medium-sized healthcare systems earned high marks as well.

Forbes posted their results online in a searchable database comprised of two groups of 500 companies each: large employers above 5,000 employees, and medium-sized employers with workforces in the range of 1,000 to 5,000 employees. The magazine distributed the healthcare employers among a few categories; most health systems, like the Mayo Clinic, appear in the “Health Care and Social” category, with other firms visible in the “Health Care Equipment and Services” category.

Along with their rankings, here are the 35 health systems and medical centers from Forbes’ list of the best large employers:

  1. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  2. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York City
  3. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
  4. University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas
  5. MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston
  6. MaineHealth, Portland, Maine
  7. Northwestern Medicine, Chicago
  8. Houston Methodist
  9. Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus
  10. UCLA Health, Los Angeles
  11. Penn Medicine, Philadelphia
  12. Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville
  13. Legacy Health, Portland, Oregon
  14. Emory Healthcare, Atlanta
  15. University Hospitals, Cleveland
  16. Deaconess Health System, Evansville
  17. Duke University Health System, Durham
  18. UCHealth, Aurora, Colorado
  19. Orlando Health
  20. Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus
  21. University of Maryland Medical System, Baltimore
  22. Cleveland Clinic
  23. Johns Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore
  24. MUSC Health, Charleston, South Carolina
  25. BayCare, Clearwater, Florida
  26. Norton Healthcare, Louisville
  27. Baptist Health, Louisville
  28. The University of Kansas Health System, Kansas City
  29. ChristianaCare, Newark, Delaware
  30. Yale New Haven Health
  31. Piedmont Healthcare, Atlanta
  32. University of Rochester Medical Center
  33. Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
  34. Akron Children’s Hospital
  35. Health First, Rockledge, Florida

Best Places to Work in Health Care 2022 from Fortune

Forbes wasn’t the only business magazine to recently rank healthcare organizations. In September 2022, Fortune Magazine and the global workplace authority Great Place to Work (GPW) released their updated yearly list of the “Best Places to Work in Health Care.”

For this survey, GPW evaluated responses from 161,000 employees, a sample 168 percent greater than even the Forbes survey. Minimum eligibility requirements for the large workplace list included a 1,000-employee workforce and previous certification as a “Great Place to Work.”

According to Fortune’s methodology statement, unlike the Forbes effort, this survey does not rely on Net Promoter Scores at all. Instead, GPW asks employees to share feedback about their company’s corporate culture by asking if they agree or disagree with 60 statements paired with five-point Likert scales. “Collectively, these statements describe a great employee experience, defined by high levels of trust, respect, credibility, fairness, pride, and camaraderie,” says Fortune’s statement. Respondents are also asked to reply to two open-ended essay question prompts.

Here are the top 30 companies from the list of the best healthcare employers compiled by GPW for Fortune. Besides hospital systems, Fortune’s list also includes pharmaceutical firms, insurance companies, and device manufacturers.

  1. Texas Health Resources, Arlington
  2. Elevance Health, Indianapolis
  3. Southern Ohio Medical Center, Portsmouth
  4. Blue Shield of California, Oakland
  5. Northwell Health, New Hyde Park, New York
  6. Baptist Health South Florida, Coral Gables
  7. Ohio Health, Columbus
  8. Scripps Health, San Diego
  9. WellStar Health System, Atlanta
  10. Atlantic Health System, Morristown, New Jersey
  11. Shields Health Solutions, Boston
  12. Aya Healthcare, San Diego
  13. White Glove Placement, Brooklyn
  14. Jackson Healthcare, Alpharetta, Georgia
  15. IEHP, Rancho Cucamonga, California
  16. ChenMed, Miami
  17. Agilent Technologies, Santa Clara, California
  18. Desert Oasis Healthcare, Palm Springs, California
  19. Teladoc Health, Purchase, New York
  20. Paradigm Corp, Walnut Creek, California
  21. BayCare Health System, Clearwater, Florida
  22. AmerisourceBergen, Conshohocken, Pennsylvania
  23. Enhabit Home Health & Hospice, Dallas
  24. Premise Health, Brentwood, Tennessee
  25. Benco Dental Supply, Pittston, Pennsylvania
  26. FinThrive, Alpharetta, Georgia
  27. Centene, St. Louis
  28. AbleTo, New York City
  29. Abbott Laboratories, Green Oaks, Illinois
  30. Q-Centrix, Chicago, IL

Top Companies 2022: Healthcare, from LinkedIn

In June 2022, LinkedIn released its ranking entitled “Top Companies 2022: Health Care.” This list is based on very different criteria from the Forbes and Fortune lists. The LinkedIn list is designed to strictly focus on recognizing companies with the best prospects for career growth and progression (e.g., promotions, salary raises). For that reason, this list will probably seem especially interesting and useful to ambitious MHA and healthcare MBA students interviewing for internships or jobs upon graduation.

By relying upon internal data from members, Linkedin exploits a clear competitive advantage unavailable to survey firms like Statista and GPW, who are forced to rely upon traditional marketing research techniques like questionaries and phone interviews. That’s a significant advantage because the proportion of Americans who will actually answer a call from a marketing research interviewer has plummeted to an almost insignificant percentage. The main factor that contributed to this outcome was the widespread adoption of Caller ID call screening on smartphones since the iPhone’s debut in mid-2007.

Less clear is whether LinkedIn can argue that because its social networking data is publicly displayed on member profiles and subject to “social proof,” its data is necessarily more credible than answers on questionnaires. That may be the case, but MHAOnline couldn’t find compelling evidence of such a credibility advantage for this report. It’s also not necessarily clear that respondents would have reasons to lie on questionnaires by claiming their employers treat them better than they really do because all the questionnaires in the Statista and GPW studies are anonymous.

Moreover, LinkedIn claims that its rankings are based on seven categories of data “pillars” purportedly correlated with employee promotions and career progression. Although these correlations intuitively seem to make sound theoretical sense, in its methodology the firm provides zero statistical evidence that supports their assertions that these correlations actually exist. Nevertheless, the seven pillars include:

  • Ability to advance: The rate of promotions within a firm, calculated from announcements posted by members on LinkedIn profiles.
  • Skills growth: The rate at which employees are adding skills recognized by LinkedIn to their profiles.
  • Company stability: The proportion of employees employed more than three years at the company, compared with that firm’s attrition rate during the past 12 months.
  • External opportunities: Interest in the firm’s workers by headhunters, apparently measured by interactions with employees on the platform with recruiters known to LinkedIn.
  • Company affinity: This metric evaluates the LinkedIn connection percentage among the firm’s employees, as a proxy measure of how “supportive” the corporate culture may be.
  • Gender diversity: The firm’s gender parity ratios.
  • Educational background: The average education levels attained by the firm’s workforce.

With that analysis in mind, here are the 25 companies from the list of the best healthcare employers compiled by LinkedIn:

  1. Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, California
  2. Arthrex, Naples, Florida
  3. Parexel, Waltham, Massachusetts
  4. Athenahealth, Watertown, Massachusetts
  5. Teladoc Health, Purchase, New York
  6. Walgreens Boots Alliance, Deerfield, Illinois
  7. MicroVention, Aliso Viejo, California
  8. Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore
  9. CVS Health, Woonsocket, Rhode Island
  10. City of Hope, Duarte, California
  11. ZEISS Medical Technology, Dublin, California
  12. Hologic, Marlborough, California
  13. Allscripts, Chicago
  14. UnitedHealth Group, Minnetonka, Minnesota
  15. Galderma, Fort Worth
  16. Avanos Medical, Alpharetta, Georgia
  17. Curology, San Francisco
  18. UChicago Medicine
  19. Varian Medical Systems, Palo Alto, California
  20. University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore
  21. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Raritan, New Jersey
  22. Nevro, Redwood City, California
  23. Medtronic, Minneapolis
  24. Pfizer, New York City
  25. Elanco, Clinton, Indiana

Why Don’t Firms Appear on Multiple Lists?

This has to be the “million-dollar question” that emerged from our analysis. One might reasonably expect that many of the same employers would appear on all three lists. However, that didn’t happen.

We were surprised to recognize only four employers that appear on more than one list. They include:

  • BayCare Health System, Clearwater, Florida
  • Teladoc Health, Purchase, New York
  • University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore
  • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore

Apparently, these curious results imply that if one wants the utmost assurance, they’re working for one of the best healthcare employers, they would have their choice of only three cities in the United States: Clearwater, Florida, Purchase, New York, or Baltimore.

What is a Net Promoter Score?

Why do Forbes and Statista so heavily weigh the question of how likely a survey respondent might be to recommend their employer to someone looking for a new job? They do that because of revolutionary advances in the field of marketing research during the past two decades.

Bain & Company—one of the top three management consulting firms in the world—published a landmark marketing research study in the Harvard Business Review in 2003. The firm found that the lengthy customer research questionnaires that had been standard in the field of marketing research since the 1950s were no longer optimal.

That’s because the Bain consultants’ research demonstrated that by collecting customer responses on a 10-point Likert scale to a single question that was “radically simple,” the results were profound. With this question, marketers could now assess customer loyalty more accurately than by using the traditional—and extensive—marketing research surveys.

Most MHAOnline readers will recognize this question because they have already seen it many times, especially in email messages from businesses. Here it is:

On a scale of zero to 10, how likely is it that you would recommend us to your friends or colleagues?

The field of marketing research would never be the same. In this brief video, Bain’s Managing Partner Rob Markey explains that the firm decided to call this average value the Net Promoter Score, or NPS. That’s because the consultants labeled as “Promoters” the respondents who reported scores between 9.0 and 10.0.

Bain found that only the most enthusiastic and loyal customers reported scores in this range. For most companies, more than 80 percent of their referrals come from Promoters. MHAOnline readers familiar with management expert Ken Blanchard and his classic treatise The One Minute Manager know customers like these by their more common name: raving fans. They’re the folks sleeping on the sidewalks in front of Apple Stores, so they’ll be among the first in the world to buy the newest iPhone model.

However, most firms can still be successful with NPS metrics far below 9.0, because most experts believe that scores above 5.0 are excellent. Typically, Ritz-Carlton and Apple earn around a 7.0 average score. And who has the world’s best customer satisfaction ratings? With NPS scores around 9.6 consistently during the past few years, that firm would be Tesla.

This is why Forbes and Statista heavily rely upon the question of how likely a survey respondent would be to recommend their employer. Two decades of research show that it’s an extremely accurate and unbiased technique. It’s also efficient, in that it allows survey research firms to dispense with asking the 60 or more questions that would often be necessary to produce accurate results—as Fortune and GPW apparently continue to do by applying that useful but dated approach.

Douglas Mark
Douglas Mark

While a partner in a San Francisco marketing and design firm, for over 20 years Douglas Mark wrote online and print content for the world’s biggest brands, including United Airlines, Union Bank, Ziff Davis, Sebastiani and AT&T.

Since his first magazine article appeared in MacUser in 1995, he’s also written on finance and graduate business education in addition to mobile online devices, apps, and technology. He graduated in the top 1 percent of his class with a business administration degree from the University of Illinois and studied computer science at Stanford University.

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