Using public information found through hospital’s annual cost reports to CMS, this article pinpoints the lowest cost hospitals in Texas. To see cost-to-charge ratios at any hospital as reported to the government, go to www.ahd.com
By Napala Pratini
Over 6 million Texans—almost a quarter of the state’s total population—are uninsured. Even as the controversial Affordable Care Act is slowly implemented, savvy consumers—both insured and uninsured—will be smart to shop around before receiving care. NerdWallet Health built a Best Hospitals tool to help patients investigate the cost of hospital care in their local areas. Using the tool, we analyzed the 100 most common treatments at over 300 hospitals in Texas to find the top 10 most affordable hospitals. We asked the following questions:
1) Which Texas hospitals offer the highest number of affordable treatments, and where are they located?
2) What are these treatments?
3) How satisfied are patients of these hospitals?
The Top 10 Most Affordable Hospitals in Texas
1. Shannon Medical Center—San Angelo, TX
Serving Concho Valley for over 80 years, Shannon Medical Center offers the highest number of affordable treatments in Texas and boasts an 80% patient satisfaction rate. While the hospital touts its cardiology, oncology, brain & spine, and orthopedics departments, Shannon also offers many affordable treatments for lung disorders like COPD, pneumonia, and respiratory infections.
2. Providence Health Center—Waco, TX
This health center highlights its hospitalists and intensivists: two types of physicians who work specifically with critically ill, hospitalized patients. Efforts to make patients comfortable are evident in the hospital’s 79% patient satisfaction rate. The campus includes a 237-bed acute care hospital and provides affordable treatments for seizure, heart attack, hypertension, and renal failure.
3. Scott & White Memorial Hospital—Temple, TX
This 636-bed, level I trauma center produces 74% patient satisfaction. This hospital is part of Scott & White Healthcare, a non-profit collaborative health care system that serves a 29,000-square-mile area and offers its own Health Plan. This hospital, the only emergency hospital in the system, offers affordable treatments for stroke, COPD, and alcohol & drug abuse, among others. U.S. News recognizes Scott & White Memorial as high performing in gastroenterology, nephrology, orthopedics, psychiatry, pulmonology, and urology.
4. Baptist St. Anthony’s Health System-Baptist Campus—Amarillo, TX
A Truven Health Analytics Top 100 Hospital (an independent and objective program that ranks hospitals based on patient care and efficiency), this Christian hospital has over 450 physicians and 2700 employees. Look for affordable asthma treatments here, as well as angioplasty for those with atherosclerosis. With 81% patient satisfaction, chances are you’ll have a good patient experience.
5. Baylor University Medical Center—Dallas, TX
With 81% patient satisfaction and almost 1000 beds, it’s no surprise that Baylor has been nationally recognized for 21 years. It is also ranked #1 in the Dallas Fort Worth area and #2 in all of Texas by U.S. News & World Report. Least expensive for heart attack with complications and aortic aneurysm, Baylor is a good bet for people looking for affordable cardiac care.
6. Medical Center Hospital—Odessa, TX
Serving over 100,000 patients per year in the Permian Basin, the Medical Center Hospital has been around for over 60 years. With comparatively mediocre patient satisfaction (70%), prospective patients might be wary—but this hospital offers the most affordable hip & knee replacements, which is important considering the frequency of these procedures.
7. Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center—Houston, TX
Another of Truven’s Top 100 hospitals, this medical center boasts the highest patient satisfaction rate in this study at 83%. With over 1,000 medical staff, 426 beds, and a 33-story tower, the center also includes exclusive women’s and children’s facilities. Come here for the least expensive treatments for fractures or dislocations.
8. Hendrick Medical Center—Abilene, TX
A 522-bed medical center, Hendrick has served the Texas Midwest for almost 90 years. Granted the Gallup Great Workplace Award for six consecutive years and a two-time awardee of the Pathway to Excellence designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, Hendrick achieves 77% satisfaction ratings. Patients with back problems and neurodegenerative disease (such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s) can find affordable treatments here.
9. Memorial Hermann Baptist Beaumont Hospital—Beaumont, TX
Another Memorial Hermann hospital, this Christian hospital received 76% patient satisfaction ratings. Look here for affordable treatments for respiratory failure and psychoses. Baptist Beaumont was recognized as a Nurse Friendly Hospital and has been designated as a Magnet Recognition Facility. Latest news: the hospital recently opened the first children’s emergency center in southeast Texas.
10. Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital—Arlington, TX
U.S. News ranks this hospital as high performing in diabetes & endocrinology, gastroenterology, geriatrics, neurology, pulmonology, and urology. Texas Health Arlington was the first Texas hospital to be named a Cycle III Chest Pain Center, and received a Gold Seal of Approval from the Joint Commission for its Stroke Center in 2008. With 72% satisfaction ratings, this hospital offers affordable stroke prevention and treatment procedures.
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Affordability: Using CMS Medicare Provider Charge Data, we first determined the 50 largest hospitals in Texas (of 308 total) by calculating the total number of Medicare patient discharges per year. We then calculated which of these 50 has the lowest price for each of the 100 most common medical procedures, and then summed the number of times that each hospital had the lowest price. The data are for services billed for Medicare patients.
Procedures/diagnoses: For the procedures that each hospital was least expensive, we presented the most commonly known.
Patient satisfaction: Patient satisfaction ratings were obtained from HCAHPS, a nationally administeredsurvey on patient satisfaction. “Satisfied” was taken to be patients who reported, “I would definitely recommend this hospital” on this survey.
Hospital characteristics: Individual hospital websites and U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals.