Top 10 United States healthcare companies

- Top 10 - Jul 14, 2017

Although there is no single formula to create a leading healthcare company, the raw elements remain generally consistent.

Effective management, productive employees, a unique selling point, a dedication to customer service, and an excellent market reputation are just a few important keys to success in this volatile but extremely lucrative industry. 

The leaders in the healthcare field have learned to combine these diverse elements in just the right ratios to thrive in the modern marketplace. 

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10. Pfizer
The pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has faced significant patent issues over the last several years, including the loss of exclusive rights to the all-time best-selling cholesterol drug Lipitor. Despite the considerable blow this has dealt to company profits (sales figures declined by 1.5 percent in 2015), Pfizer remains a strong performer in the healthcare industry due to factors that include high shareholder yields and an exceptional reputation as an employer.  

9. Humana
Currently ranked 52nd on the Fortune 500 List, Humana was nearly acquired by rival health insurance company Aetna in 2016 before the deal was thwarted by anti-competitive legal concerns. The failed merger hasn’t had a lasting effect on Humana’s business operations. 

After struggling a little in the first and second quarters of 2016, Humana finished strong in the third and fourth quarters, with revenues of $14,007,000 and $13,800,000 respectively. Humana is also popular with consumers, garnering more than 1,000 positive reviews through the independent healthcare ratings organization Consumer Affairs.   

8. Aetna
Aetna is also faring extremely well in the wake of the failed merger with Humana, consistently maintaining double-digit year-over-year revenue percentage increases. In January of 2016, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini announced that the company would boost its minimum wage to $16 per hour - a move that was extremely popular with the company’s workforce. 

7. Johnson & Johnson
In addition to producing bandages and baby powder, Johnson & Johnson features a range of prescription drug and medical device brands that generate billions in sales. 

The company suffered a significant drop in revenue in the wake of accusations that its talcum powder leads to ovarian cancer, but it has since rebounded to land in the 39th position on the Fortune 500 List. Johnson & Johnson expects to boost profits even further by submitting ten new pharmaceutical filings through 2017. 

6. Anthem
The second largest health insurer in the United States and the largest for-profit managed healthcare company in the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Association. Anthem rapidly rose to prominence in 2014 after acquiring the massive healthcare insurance group WellPoint. The organization currently serves approximately 38.5 million patients.

5. Express Scripts Holding
Processing around 1.5 billion claims on an annual basis, Express Scripts has emerged as the biggest full-service pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) in America. 

Its success has been fuelled by consolidation within the pharmacy industry, resulting in reduced costs and increased bargaining strength with pharmaceutical companies. The company currently occupies the 22nd spot on the Fortune 500 list and expects to climb even higher as national drug spending increases. 

4. Cardinal Health
Distributing a wide range of pharmaceuticals and medical products, Cardinal Health has benefited greatly from recent increases in the prices of generic drugs. 

With revenues of well over $1 billion, it continues to expand its portfolio of doctor office and medical center products while simultaneously capitalizing on a new market of customers that have abandon the traditional hospital model to embrace other integrated systems of healthcare.

3. AmerisourceBergen
AmerisourceBergen is the second-largest US distributor of pharmaceuticals with posted revenues of $136 billion. In recent years, it has found additional success within the rapidly growing animal health industry.

AmerisourceBergen currently supports a workforce of roughly 16,500 employees and ranks 12th on the Fortune 500 list.

2. UnitedHealth Group
The largest single healthcare carrier in America, UnitedHealthCare is the currently covers approximately 70 million Americans. The company has benefited from the higher enrolment rate of the Affordable Care Act but suffered from the increased fees that are associated with the ACA. 

Part of UnitedHealth’s success can be attributed to diversification. It is a tremendous supporter of medical research as well as an insurance provider.

1. McKesson
Ranking fifth on among all companies on the Fortune 500 list, McKesson is the largest pharmaceutical distributor and healthcare IT company in the US. 

Its work in the digital technology sector (producing and maintaining electronic health-records systems, payment plans, and revenue cycle infrastructure) is a major key to its ongoing success. 
Adding to its monumental success in the field of pharmaceutical distribution, McKesson’s IT operations boosted profits to $190.8 billion in 2016.

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