More beds equals more clout for Memorial Herman, and it has pushed the healthcare system up to the top after two years of playing second fiddle. 

After having sat at the No. 2 spot since 2017, Houston-based Memorial Hermann Health System took back its No. 1 place on the Houston Business Journal’s 2019 Largest Houston-Area Health Care Systems List.

Memorial Hermann increased its bed count by 0.5 percent from 4,156 beds in 2018 to 4,178 in 2019. Although the change was small, it was enough to push Memorial Hermann into the leading spot.

Memorial Hermann has had a busy year. In February 2019, Charles “Chuck” Stokes, former CEO of Memorial Hermann, resigned after about a year and a half in the position. He was replaced by Dr. David Callender, former president of the University of Texas Medical Branch, in September 2019. Also in July, Memorial Hermann completed the expansion of Memorial Hermann Cypress Hospital, adding 24 licensed beds as well as other features to the campus. In October, the Memorial Hermann Foundation received a $10 million donation to expand women’s health services at its hospital in Humble

HCA Houston Healthcare, No. 2 on The List, saw a decline of 124 licensed beds, or 3 percent, dropping from 4,231 beds in 2018 to 4,104 for 2019. In March 2019, HCA announced the restructuring of the Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital facility at 10655 Steepletop Drive from a full-service hospital into a freestanding emergency room. At that time, Cy-Fair Medical Center Hospital had a bed count of 181 licensed beds.

That is not the only activity HCA has experienced this year. In January, HCA opened its new center for neurosciences and orthopedics on the fifth floor of the Bayshore Medical Center. In April, HCA partnered with Houston-based New Quest Properties to completely redevelop and expand the 41-year-old Tomball Medical Center campus.

These are not the only systems that have made a mark in the Houston area. Houston-based Texas Children’s Hospital, No. 5 on The List, has increased its local licensed bed count by 23 percent in the past year, from 767 beds in 2018 to 945 beds in 2019. In 2018, Texas Children’s Hospital opened the new Lester and Sue Smith Legacy Tower, which was built on top of a six-story building next to the Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women in the Texas Medical Center. In August, the Houston Business Journal reported that Texas Children’s Hospital planned to spend $12.9 million to relocate and expand its West Tower radiology department.

The chart below shows the top five ranked health care systems in the Houston area and how they have grown over five years.


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