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Best Hospitals in Nebraska: Most Affordable Hospitals

March 17, 2014
Finding Health Insurance, Health
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Nebraska has seen some good news in the field of health care recently, as the Midwest Affiliate of the American Heart Association, announced a $5.3 million initiative to aid heart attack patients in rural Nebraska called “Mission: Lifeline.” And throughout the state, there are many hospitals working to improve care — and many are ranked as high-performing by U.S. News & World Report.

As far as considering the quality and affordability, especially if you may be going through changes with your health insurance, NerdWallet has compiled a list of the top 10 most affordable hospitals.

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 23 hospitals in Nebraska to find the top 10 most affordable hospitals. We asked the following questions:

1) Which Nebraska 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 Nebraska

1. Columbus Community Hospital—Columbus, Neb.

Accredited by the Joint Commission, Columbus Community Hospital serves Platte County and the seven surrounding counties. The 47-bed hospital has four skilled nursing beds and 14 ambulatory outpatient beds — all with private occupancy. The hospital consists of over 550 employees and more than 300 volunteers. Columbus Community Hospital has affordable treatments for stroke and pneumonia, as well as a patient satisfaction rate of 66%.

2. Nebraska Heart Hospital—Lincoln, Neb.

Having just celebrated its 10-year anniversary last May, Nebraska Heart has the highest patient satisfaction rate on NerdWallet’s list at 85%. The Heart Hospital is a 63-bed facility that, in 2013, was recognized as a top-ranked Community Value Provider by Cleverley + Associates, a health care financial consulting firm. The hospital provides cardiac, vascular and thoracic services. It is home to a peripheral vascular cath lab, cardiology cath lab, and electrophysiology cath lab. It treats the common diagnoses of angioplasty and heart rhythm disorder.

3. Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center—Lincoln, Neb.

This 264-bed-bed non-profit hospital serves eastern Nebraska. Accredited by the Joint Commission, Saint Elizabeth has a patient satisfaction rate of 79% and was designated as a Magnet hospital in 2004 and 2009. It has received recognitions from the American Heart Association and the National Cancer Institute as well. Ranked high-performing in gastroenterology, orthopedics, and urology, Saint Elizabeth has affordable treatments for shingles and dehydration.

4. Mary Lanning Healthcare—Hastings, Neb.

Mary Lanning is a 161-bed general medical and surgical hospital that serves patients in central Nebraska. In 2013, Mary Lanning was honored by the National Research Corp.0as a Patient-Centered Care Champion and received recognition in the areas of emotional support, respect for patient preferences, physical comfort and continuity and transition. With a patient satisfaction rate of 75%, Mary Lanning Healthcare offers affordable treatments for tuberculosis and kidney infection. Mary Lanning will celebrate its centennial next year; it was first built in 1915 with 50 beds.

5. Great Plains Regional Medical Center—North Platte, Neb.

This 116-bed hospital serves 17 counties in west central Nebraska. It is home to the only accredited cancer treatment center in the area, as designated by the American College of Surgeons. Great Plains has received several awards for its quality work, including Leap Frog Group’s patient safety “A” rating, four rating periods in a row, and the Nebraska Hospital Association Quest for Excellence Award for Reduction of Medication Errors in 2012. Great Plains was also acknowledged in 2012 by Commission on Cancer for outstanding achievement. Great Plains has affordable treatments for the common diagnoses of emphysema and appendicitis, as well as a patient satisfaction rate of 61%.

6. Saint Francis Medical Center—Grand Island, Neb.

Saint Francis Medical Center is a 200-bed hospital that employs 100 physicians and more than 1,100 employees. In 2007, Saint Francis became the first hospital in Nebraska to receive the Edgerton Quality Awards’ Award of Excellence. Find affordable treatments here for respiratory failure and severe anemia —and a patient satisfaction rate of 77%. As a part of the Catholic Health Initiative, Saint Francis works with other hospitals on NerdWallet’s list, including Good Samaritan, Nebraska Heart, and Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center.

7. Good Samaritan Hospital—Kearney, Neb.

Good Samaritan Hospital is a 287-bed regional referral center in Kearney. A member of Catholic Health Initiatives, Good Samaritan serves the residents of central Nebraska and northern Kansas. Good Samaritan operates the state’s first accredited chest pain center, a Level II trauma center featuring emergency helicopter transport, and a nationally accredited cancer center. It also has a neonatal intensive care unit. With a patient satisfaction rate of 76%, Good Samaritan Hospital has affordable treatments for heart pacemaker implementation and repair of a hip fracture.

8. The Nebraska Methodist Hospital—Omaha, Neb.

Methodist Hospital is recognized as No. 2 in the state of Nebraska, best in the Omaha metro area, and best in eastern Nebraska by U.S. News & World Report. A part of Methodist Health System, Methodist Hospital has the second-highest patient satisfaction rate on NerdWallet’s list with 80%. It is also ranked as high-performing by U.S. News & World Report in nine specialties, including cancer and diabetes. Methodist Hospital says it was the first hospital in Omaha to offer lithotripsy treatment for kidney stones. It also has an outpatient surgery center. Nebraska Methodist Hospital, which received a quality award for inpatient care from Professional Research Consultants in 2011, also provides treatment for seizures and spinal fusion.

9. Bryan Medical Center—Lincoln, Neb.

A part of Bryan Health System, this facility is a general medical and surgical hospital serving Lincoln with 346 beds. Bryan received the Gold Seal of Approval from the Joint Commission, which sets the highest standards for health care quality and safety. It is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. It offers a variety of inpatient and outpatient services, including asthma treatment and hernia repair. It has a 78% patient satisfaction rate.

10. The Nebraska Medical Center—Omaha, Neb.

Though No. 10 on NerdWallet’s list, The Nebraska Medical Center is ranked No. 1 in the state of Nebraska by U.S. News & World Report. Serving the metro area of Omaha, the Nebraska Medical Center is a teaching hospital for the University of Nebraska Medical Center. The facility is recognized as high performing in eight specialties, including oncology, urology and cardiology. The facility has 627 beds and 33 operating rooms. The hospital treats kidney damage and coronary artery blockage and has a patient satisfaction rate of 77%.


Ranking Hospital Name Location Most Affordable for Common Diagnoses/Treatments Such As: Patient satisfaction
1 Columbus Community Hospital Columbus Stroke, pneumonia 66%
2 Nebraska Heart Hospital Lincoln Angioplasty, heart rhythm disorder 85%
3 Saint Elizaberh Regional Medical Center Lincoln Shingles, dehydration 79%
4 Mary Lanning Healthcare Hastings Tuberculosis, kidney infection 75%
5 Great Plains Regional Medical Center North Platte Emphysema, appendicitis 61%
6 St. Francis Medical Center Grand
Respiratory failure, severe anemia 77%
7 Good Samaritan Hospital Kearney Heart pacemaker implantation, repair of hip fracture 76%
8 The Nebraska Methodist Hospital Omaha Seizure, spinal fusion 80%
9 Bryan Medical Center Lincoln Asthma, hernia 78%
10 The Nebraska Medical Center Omaha Kidney damage, coronary artery blockage 77%



Affordability: Using CMS Medicare Provider Charge Data, we calculated which of 23 hospitals in Nebraska has the lowest price for each of the 100 most common medical procedures. We then summed the number of times that each hospital had the lowest price and ranked based on which hospitals had the highest number. 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.

Nebraska flag photo courtesy of Shutterstock.