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Best Hospitals in Louisiana: Most Affordable Hospitals

March 24, 2014
Health, Medical Costs
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The Best Hospitals in Louisiana: Most Affordable Hospitals

Louisiana has seen many enrolling in health care coverage from the Affordable Care Act. At a rate slightly higher than the national average, Louisiana saw 45,561 residents sign up for a health insurance plan through between October and March. For Louisiana residents looking for affordable health care, NerdWallet has some help to offer.

NerdWallet Health built a Best Hospitals tool to help patients investigate the cost of hospital care in their local areas. Using this data, we analyzed the 100 most common treatments at 89 hospitals in Louisiana to find the top 10 most affordable hospitals. We asked the following questions:

  1. Which Louisiana 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 Most Affordable Hospitals in Louisiana

1. Baton Rouge General Medical Center Baton Rouge

Ranked No. 6 in the state by U.S. News and World Report, Baton Rouge General Medical Center serves Baton Rouge and the surrounding area. It has two campuses and 527 beds. It’s most affordable to receive treatments for shingles and hernia at this center, and the patient satisfaction rate is 77%. The center is home to Baton Rouge’s only regional burn center.

2. American Legion Hospital Crowley

American Legion Hospital is a general medical and surgical hospital with 178 beds, and all rooms have access to public wireless internet. It’s most affordable to receive treatments for emphysema and pneumonia. The hospital, which has a patient satisfaction rate of 52%, uses the da Vinci System, which is a surgical platform that aims to make complicated surgeries less invasive. The hospital became home to a location of the Cancer Center of Acadiana in 2013. The center aims to provide high quality cancer treatment to the Lafayette area.

3. LSU Health Shreveport Shreveport

A part of the medical education of Louisiana State University, University Health Shreveport is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. The origins of the LSU Hospital go back to 1876. After transitioning into a private entity in 2013, the university-affiliated hospital in Shreveport has 459 beds. The center, which is affiliated with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, is most affordable for treating severe heartburn and spinal fusion, and it has a patient satisfaction rate of 72%. At the center, you’ll find the Feist-Weiller Cancer Center, as well as a regional burn center and a trauma center. These centers serve north Louisiana, east Texas and southwest Arkansas.

4. Franklin Medical Center Winnsboro

Serving Winnsboro and the Franklin and Tensas parishes, Franklin Medical Center has 43 beds. The hospital, which has a 59% patient satisfaction rate, opened a sleep study lab last year. In 2011, the Franklin Medical Center Breast Cancer Awareness Center received the Outstanding Rural Health Program of the Year award from the Louisiana Rural Health Association. The center also received the 2013 Franklin Parish Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year award. Here, you’ll find affordable treatment for tuberculosis and asthma.

5. Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center Baton Rouge

The fifth most affordable hospital in the state is this 800-bed hospital which is ranked high-performing by U.S. News in orthopedics. Our Lady is most affordable for heart pacemaker implantation and hip replacement. The hospital received the 2013 Women’s Choice Award. It was also given the Consumer Choice Award by the National Research Corporation for being the highest quality hospital in the Baton Rouge metropolitan area.

The center has a 78% patient satisfaction rate. U.S. News and World Report also recognized this center as best in southeastern Louisiana and the Baton Rouge metropolitan area.

6. Opelousas General Health System Opelousas

Founded in 1957 and made up of two campuses, Opelousas is a 241-bed health system. With a patient satisfaction rate of 66%, Opelousas is most affordable for treating schizophrenia and drug poisoning. The hospital received the Path to Excellence Award, an award that recognizes a hospital’s commitment to improving the patient experience, from the National Research Corporation in 2013.

7. Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center Lafayette

Accredited by the Joint Commission, Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center is a 186-bed hospital that serves Lafayette and its surrounding area. Lourdes is a good place to find affordable treatment for appendicitis and inflammation of the pancreas. The center has a patient satisfaction rate of 83%. The center includes a bariatric unit that is designated a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

8. Natchitoches Regional Medical Center Natchitoches

Founded in 1956, the center has 96 beds. The Center also owns Natchitoches Emergency Services, which serves Natchitoches Parish with 24-hour ambulance service. It’s most affordable to treat heart attack and fainting at the center, which has a patient satisfaction rate of 55%. Affiliated with the Catholic health system CHRISTUS, the hospital offers outpatient services, including sports medicine, speech therapy, and sleep studies.

9. Heart Hospital of Lafayette Lafayette

Heart Hospital has a patient satisfaction rate of 92% — the highest on NerdWallet’s top-10 list. It is also ranked as one of the top 50 cardiovascular hospitals in the country by Thomson Reuters, and it received the 2012 Gold Heart Failure Award from the American Heart Association. Opening in 2004, the Heart Hospital is a member of the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System. The hospital is most affordable for repair of aortic aneurysm and angioplasty with stent placed.

10. Willis-Knighton Medical Center Shreveport

Ranked No. 2 in the state by U.S. News and World Report, the center serves the Willis-Knighton area and has 902 beds. This center is ranked high performing in 11 adult specialties, including cancer, cardiology and geriatrics. The center is most affordable for cardiac catheterization and angioplasty without stent placed — and it has a patient satisfaction rate of 85%.


Ranking Hospital Name Location Most Affordable for Common Diagnoses/ Treatments Such As: Patient Satisfaction
1 Baton Rouge General Medical Center Baton Rouge Shingles, hernia


2 American Legion Hospital Crowley Emphysema, pneumonia


3 LSU Medical Center Shreveport Severe heartburn, spinal fusion


4 Franklin Medical Center Winnsboro Tuberculosis. Asthma


5 Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center Baton Rouge Heart pacemaker implantation, hip replacement


6 Opelousas General Health System Opelousas Schizophrenia, drug poisoning


7 Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center Lafayette Appendicitis, inflammation of the pancreas


8 Natchitoches Regional Medical Center Natchitoches Heart attack, fainting


9 Heart Hospital of Lafayette Lafayette Repair of aortic aneurysm, angioplasty with stent placed


10 Willis-Knighton Medical Center Shreveport Angioplasty without stent placed, cardiac catheterization



Affordability: Using CMS Medicare Provider Charge Data, we first determined the 50 largest hospitals in Louisiana (of 89 total) by calculating the total number of Medicare patient discharges per year. We 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 rates were obtained from HCAHPS, a nationally administered survey 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.

Louisiana flag photo via Shutterstock.