Not nearly as many New Mexico residents signed up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act as the state had first estimated, leaving a good deal of people still without health insurance. As such, New Mexicans need to know where to find affordable health care.
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 32 hospitals in New Mexico to find the most affordable hospitals. We asked the following questions:
1) Which New Mexico 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 New Mexico
1. San Juan Regional Medical Center—Farmington, N.M.
A designated Level 3 trauma center, San Juan Regional Medical Center is the sole provider of hospital services in San Juan County, and also serves the entire Four Corners region through San Juan Health Partners, which includes several offsite facilities that provide primary care, specialty care, diagnostic services and rehabilitation services. San Juan Regional has 254 beds and provides affordable care for seizure and the implantation of a heart pacemaker. It has a 67% patient satisfaction rating and received the Distinguished Hospital award for clinical excellence from Healthgrades, as well as a ranking in the top 5% in the nation for overall clinical excellence.
2. Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center—Santa Fe, N.M.
With affordable treatments for kidney damage and Parkinson’s, this nonprofit, faith-based hospital is the only Level 3 trauma center in northern New Mexico. Christus St. Vincent is New Mexico’s oldest hospital. It has 380 staff physicians who cover 34 specialties, and it serves more than 300,000 residents. It is also accredited by the Joint Commission and has a patient satisfaction rating of 52%.
3. Presbyterian Hospital—Albuquerque, N.M.
Presbyterian Hospital is a nonprofit facility and the largest acute care hospital in New Mexico with 453 beds. It offers affordable care options for hip replacement and spinal fusion, and its medical facilities include centers for cancer, heart health, women’s health and children’s health. The Joint Commission awarded Presbyterian Hospital its gold seal of approval in 2013 for orthopedic certification and named it a Center of Excellence for hip and knee joint replacement. It also boasts a 76% patient satisfaction rating.
4. Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center—Alamogordo, N.M.
Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center is a shared facility between Holloman Air Force Base and the Alamogordo community. In addition to civilian care, physicians from HAFB are able to treat Department of Defense patients and their dependents at the Alamogordo facility. The private, nonprofit hospital employs more than 700 people. Its advanced wound care center earned the Center of Distinction award from Healogics for high clinical quality and operational excellence. Affordable care for tuberculosis and respiratory failure is available here, and the hospital has a patient satisfaction rating of 51%.
5. Mountain View Regional Medical Center—Las Cruces, N.M.
Boasting a 78% patient satisfaction rating, the highest on our list, Mountain View Regional Medical Center is a 168-bed, Joint Commission-accredited facility employs 625 health care professionals in more than 35 specialties and provides affordable care for stroke and shingles. It features accredited centers for chest pain, joint replacement and stroke, robot-assisted surgery and a wound care center.
6. UNM Hospital—Albuquerque, N.M.
The University of New Mexico Hospital is the only academic medical center in the state, as well as its only Level 1 trauma center and only certified stroke center. In addition to affordable treatment options for angioplasty and acute heart attack, it offers a wide range of services, including neurosurgical services, a robotic surgery program, a pulmonary lab and a new cardiac catheterization center. Its patient satisfaction rating is 69%.
According to Luke Frank, Media Relations Manager at UNM Hospital, “The University of New Mexico Hospital (UNMH) operates New Mexico’s only Level I Trauma Center and serves as the primary teaching hospital for the UNM School of Medicine. The main hospital’s Barbara & Bill Richardson Pavilion houses emergency and clinical space uniquely configured for medical efficiency and patient safety, and fitted with cutting-edge imaging, laboratory and surgical technology. To advance patient access and care, the UNM Hospital system operates 43 off-site clinics throughout the state. UNMH further expands into New Mexico’s rural communities through a Telemedicine/Telehealth network, linking patients and physicians to the most current research and medical information available.”
7. Rehoboth McKinley Christian Health Care Services—Gallup, N.M.
Operating a 60-bed acute care hospital, a pair of outpatient clinics, services for home health and hospice cares, behavioral health services and residential addictions treatment, Rehoboth McKinley Christian Health Care Services serves the people of McKinley County and eastern Arizona. With affordable treatments for heart rhythm disorder and dehydration, it also offers services including primary care, general surgery, OB/GYN and infectious diseases. RMCHCS is accredited by the Joint Commission, the College of American Pathologists and the American College of Radiologists, and has a 58% patient satisfaction rating.
8. Gallup Indian Medical Center—Gallup, N.M.
With the largest staff of all Navajo Area Indian Health Service facilities, Gallup Indian Medical Center provides affordable care for asthma and surgery to the hip or thigh bone. The 99-bed hospital provides specialties including internal medicine, cardiology, OB/GYN, general surgery, pediatrics and emergency medicine. It also has one of the largest workloads in the IHS with 250,000 outpatient visits and 5,800 inpatient admissions per year. Its patient satisfaction rating is 40%.
9. Northern Navajo Medical Center—Shiprock, N.M.
Northern Navajo Medical Center is the largest service unit serving the Navajo Nation, with 55 beds. It offers affordable treatments for congestive heart failure and bladder infection, operates multiple field clinics and has a patient satisfaction rating of 47%.
10. Gila Regional Medical Center—Silver City, N.M.
Gila Regional Medical Center opened in 1883, and is now a county-owned, nonprofit acute care hospital. Gila Regional is accredited by the Joint Commission and is the largest hospital in a 100-mile radius, the sole community provider for the area, serving four southwest New Mexico counties. With a patient satisfaction rating of 69%, it has affordable care options for emphysema and internal bleeding.
|Rank||Hospital Name||Location||Most Affordable for Common Diagnoses/Treatments Such As:||Patient satisfaction|
|1||San Juan Regional Medical Center||Farmington||Seizure, implantation of heart pacemaker||67%|
|2||St. Vincent Hospital||Santa Fe||Kidney damage, Parkinson’s treatment||52%|
|3||Presbyterian Hospital||Albuquerque||Hip replacement, spinal fusion||76%|
|4||Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center||Alamogordo||Tuberculosis, respiratory failure||51%|
|5||Mountain View Regional Medical Center||Las Cruces||Stroke, shingles||78%|
|6||UNM Hospital||Albuquerque||Angioplasty, acute heart attack||69%|
|7||Rehoboth McKinley Christian Health Care Services||Gallup||Heart rhythm disorder, dehydration||58%|
|8||Gallup Indian Medical Center||Gallup||Asthma, surgery to the hip or thigh bone||40%|
|9||Northern Navajo Medical Center||Shiprock||Congestive heart failure, bladder infection||47%|
|10||Gila Regional Medical Center||Silver City||Emphysema, internal bleeding||69%|
Affordability: Using CMS Medicare Provider Charge Data, we calculated which of 32 hospitals in New Mexico 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 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.
New Mexico state flag image via Shutterstock.