The healthcare industry has always been a hot topic of discussion in both the general public and the medical community. Still, it has gotten even more attention thanks to the COVID pandemic.
The healthcare field is enormous and multinational, bringing in a significant amount of money to the economy through people choosing medicine as a career path, purchasing health insurance, undergoing surgery, or just picking up their medication at the pharmacy.
But what companies are in the healthcare field? Who contributes to the large amount of revenue the industry brings in every year? We’ll discuss who the largest healthcare companies are and what they bring to the table.
What Do We Mean When We Say “Healthcare Company”?
The healthcare sector is far more extensive and diverse than most people know — it’s not just about medical care itself. It also encompasses insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, medical supplies, durable medical equipment (DME) companies, and various out-of-hospital medical services (like home health, senior healthcare facilities, etc.).
In the United States, the healthcare industry accounts for a large portion of the gross domestic product (GDP) — around 18 percent of the total brought in annually. In 2021, the amount of money people spent on healthcare services — the national health expenditure or NHE — was over four trillion dollars.
While many companies contribute to the annual healthcare revenue, a few lead the way. These big earners don’t always have brand name recognition (although you’ll be familiar with many). Still, they have all contributed significantly to how we think about the industry.
The best companies are also on the cutting edge of medicine, pushing themselves and the industry forward with their innovation and dedication to research.
What Companies Are in the Healthcare Field?
To help you understand the incredible diversity in the field, let’s talk more specifically about some of the companies that contribute to the GDP in the U.S. We’ll briefly dive into what each company does and why they seem to have such a prominent place in the healthcare industry.
These companies focus on different aspects of patient care, from medical supplies to pharmaceuticals to health insurance plans. Still, all of them focus on how they can use their money and influence to change the lives of their patients every single day.
UnitedHealth Group — more commonly referred to as just United — was founded in the 1970s. Based out of Minnetonka, Minnesota, the UnitedHealth Group slogan is “helping people live healthier lives.”
They do this by offering a variety of other health and wellness services to millions of people throughout their lives. They are dedicated to helping improve the healthcare system for everyone.
While the company is most well-known for its health plans (as UnitedHealthCare, or UHC), they also partner with over one million physicians and healthcare providers in 6,500 hospitals and medical facilities nationwide, providing data analytics, consulting, and pharmacy care services.
UnitedHealth Group also includes Optum (through OptumHealth, OptumInsight, and OptumRx), a care delivery organization that helps guide people toward their optimal level of health.
As of this article, UnitedHealth Group is ranked as the largest healthcare company (by revenue) in the United States and the most significant health insurance company (by net premiums), making over $313 billion in revenue.
When Cardinal Health says they are “essential to care,” they aren’t joking. From its headquarters in Dublin, Ohio, the medical, pharmaceutical, and laboratory company has its products or performance and data services in 90 percent of all of the hospitals in the United States (as well as 10,000 different specialty offices and clinics).
Their offerings include hospital-quality home healthcare and mobility products like wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, and bath accessories.
Cardinal Health also manufactures and distributes its products globally, giving them a broad reach even without all the brand name recognition. The quality and reach of their brand are a significant part of why they have an annual revenue of around $180 billion.
Nearly everyone has heard of CVS, a pharmacy that serves over 100 million patients in the United States. But the pharmacy is owned and operated by its parent company, CVS Health Corp., from its Woonsocket, Rhode Island headquarters.
They describe themselves as a purpose-driven company taking on pressing healthcare issues and delivering affordable, accessible human-centered care.
In addition to being one of the biggest healthcare companies, CVS is one of the largest in the pharmacy benefits management (PBM) sector. PBMs manage their patient’s prescription drug benefits for different health insurers (including Medicare Part D).
CVS Health uses “healthcare teams” that focus on the care of the whole patient, including helping to improve their physical and emotional needs. They also help make care more accessible, establishing HealthHUB and MinuteClinics. The company makes around $312 billion worth of revenue annually.
Based out of Bloomfield, Connecticut, Cigna is a large healthcare company with a massive global reach and an annual revenue of $180 billion, serving patients in 30 countries.
Cigna’s primary offering is health insurance and dental coverage. Their plans include incredible benefits like $0 preventative and virtual care and multiple plan options for every budget (including financial assistance for those who qualify).
Cigna strives to guide clients and customers through the often complicated healthcare system, ensuring they feel empowered with the information they need to improve their health and vitality.
Cigna is currently going through an evolution, changing from its current branding into the Cigna Group. Their logo features the tree of life surrounding the “i,” representing the company's importance to the individual.
Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson may be best known for its over-the-counter products, like its famous No Tears baby shampoo, but it is also a company whose roots can be traced back to 1886.
In addition to its OTC offerings, J&J is one of the largest manufacturers of pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Alongside Pfizer and Moderna, the company even had a hand in creating one of the first COVID vaccines.
Johnson & Johnson claims to be the largest and most diversified healthcare products company, committing itself to improving access, creating healthier communities, and blending heart with science and ingenuity to change the world. They make around $90 billion in revenue a year.
Kaiser Permanente is one of the nation's most extensive not-for-profit health plans, serving over 12 million members.
Unlike many other insurance service providers, Kaiser Permanente puts the wisdom of healthcare professionals first, allowing them to make medical decisions (as opposed to non-healthcare professionals). They partner with more than 23,000 physicians, 64,000 nurses, 39 hospitals, and 715 medical offices to make that happen.
Kaiser Permanente has been around for more than 75 years providing high-quality healthcare care with wide-reaching coverage that broke barriers and even pioneered an entirely new model for the healthcare system.
Kaiser Permanente’s goal is to help everyone work together, especially the many components that work inside the system. The company has a revenue of around $90 billion yearly.
When discussing what companies are in the healthcare field, most have a small amount of public recognition. However, some of them, like AmerisourceBergen, aren’t as well known. That doesn’t mean they don’t impact our society, though, especially with annual revenue of around $230 billion.
AmerisourceBergan has only been around since 2001, but they have committed themselves to making a difference. The company now handles about 20 percent of the pharmaceuticals distributed and sold in the country. But through it all, they state that they understand that it is their “moral obligation” to expand access to healthcare as far as possible.
Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc.
Known as Walgreens and Duane Reades in the United States and Boots in the United Kingdom, the Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. employs over 400,000 people across the globe.
Like CVS, Walgreens is an integrated healthcare, pharmacy, and retail company — you can buy a gallon of milk, pick up your prescription medications, get immunizations, and even check your blood pressure. The Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. serves millions of people (customers and patients) daily, contributing to their annual revenue of around $132 billion.
How do they serve that many people? Part of it is their 13,000 locations across the U.S., Europe, and Latin America.
They aim to create more joyful lives by helping people improve their health. And with their focus on building their businesses as freestanding corner stores, Walgreens is more accessible than ever. The company has changed the game as we know it and has become a name that is synonymous with the idea of pharmacy.
Another healthcare company with a long history is McKesson Corp, based out of Irving, Texas. When they claim to “touch virtually every aspect of health,” they mean it, as the company offers solutions and products for pharmacies, hospitals, medical practices, and biopharma companies.
To this end, McKesson provides accurate, safe, and quick drug distribution services, quality wholesale healthcare supplies, medical products and equipment, pharmacy management tools, specialty practice solutions, and help with groundbreaking solutions for the companies and medical professionals that need it the most. They bring in about $270 billion annually.
And finally, Elevance Health is an American health insurance provider. Their goal is to advance health beyond healthcare, and their name comes from combining the words “elevate” and “advance.”
The company supports health and wellness through every life stage and situation. They offer health plans that include behavioral, clinical, complex-care, and pharmacy options that help patients as whole people and not just the sum of their healthcare concerns.
While the name Elevance Health may not ring any bells, some of its affiliates might. Anthem and Wellpoint, for example, offer plans that include commercial and Medicaid/Medicare for individuals, families, and companies.
The company’s focus on community health is unparalleled, and with an annual revenue of around $150 billion, it’s clear that its unique approach is a popular one with consumers as well.
Where Does AcuityMD Fit In?
As you can see, a company doesn’t have to be around for decades to impact the world. For example, although AcuityMD was only founded in 2019, the company has experienced immense growth — its revenue increased by 300 percent, and it grew its customer base by over 250 percent.
And there’s a reason why AcuityMD made such a splash — they’re transforming the medical device market. Their goal is to help the medical device companies (some of whom are featured on this list) be able to focus their commercial efforts while also increasing their revenue.
The unique platform tackles the difficult task of connecting what happens outside a healthcare company’s headquarters (like the external market) to the internal sales data — giving them unparalleled visibility on the healthcare market.
The platform also helps replace the tedious research and guesswork with MedTech-specific data, putting the power in the company’s hands more efficiently. It also helps companies save money, as they spend less time on sales and more on high-value opportunities.
The Bottom Line
In addition to learning what companies are in the healthcare field, we hope you also better understand how they’ve impacted the world of medicine as we know it.
The healthcare industry continues to grow and evolve, offering more innovative ways to improve your health and how healthcare is delivered to the people who need it the most.
AcuityMD wants to continue pushing that forward, allowing healthcare professionals to care for the people who need them more efficiently.