With open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act closing in less than a month and Massachusetts officials threatening to scrap the state’s website entirely, it’s a turbulent time for health care in the state. As Massachusetts residents become more aware of health costs and the discrepancies that exist within them, shopping around for better quality, lower cost care will become more common.
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 the 50 largest hospitals in Massachusetts to find the top 10 most affordable hospitals. We asked the following questions:
1) Which Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts
1. Winchester Hospital – Winchester, MA
Originally located in a three-story house with only 12 beds, Winchester Hospital was first opened in 1912 by the Winchester Visiting Nurse Association. Since then, Winchester Hospital has grown into a 229-bed facility with a vast array of services, from obstetrics to integrated home care. Winchester Hospital is also affiliated with various respected medical institutions such as the Neonatology & Special Care Nursery at Boston Children’s Hospital and the Critical Care Coverage program of Tufts Medical Center. The facility serves a population of approximately 360,000 in the northwest suburbs of Boston and offers affordable treatments for congestive heart failure, anemia, asthma and many more. The hospital has a high patient satisfaction rate of 82%.
2. Morton Hospital – Taunton, MA
The Steward Health Care System, New England’s largest all-encompassing community healthcare organization, integrated Morton Hospital into its hospital and health care clinic network in 2011. Morton Hospital proudly serves the citizens of central southeastern Massachusetts with its dedication to “maintaining and restoring health” in the community. Becker’s Hospital Review deems Morton Hospital to be one of America’s 100 Great Community Hospitals, but the hospital’s patient satisfaction rate falls at just 50 percent. Morton Hospital is affordable for treatments for conditions such as respiratory failure, acute heart attack and kidney damage.
3. Good Samaritan Medical Center – Brockton, MA
Ranked as the #17 Best Hospital in Massachusetts and appraised for its high performance in neurology and neurosurgery by U.S. News & World Report, Good Samaritan Medical Center is a full-service, acute care, Catholic hospital. Also a part of the Steward Health Care System, Good Samaritan has a patient satisfaction rate of 61%. This 245-bed facility provides affordable treatments for pneumonia, appendicitis and bladder infection, and it offers a wide range of departments including a Level II Special Care Nursery and an Intensive and Cardiac Care service. The Good Samaritan facility recently received a score of 91 points out of a possible 100 from the Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Health Care Organizations.
4. Norwood Hospital – Norwood, MA
Yet another member of the Steward Health Care System, Norwood Hospital serves Norwood and 15 surrounding communities. The 467 members of the medical staff work collectively to stay up-to-date on technology and to provide the best quality of care. In 2012, the American Stroke Association honored Norwood with the Get With the Guidelines® – Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award, which commended Norwood’s quality of care for stroke patients. Currently, Norwood Hospital’s medical services include a modern emergency department, the Small Miracles Maternity Unit, Children’s Hospital Boston Pediatrics and radiation oncology services. Norwood Hospital has a patient satisfaction rate of 61% and provides affordable treatments for tuberculosis, hernia, and dehydration.
5. Falmouth Hospital – Falmouth, MA
This 95-bed general medical and surgical hospital sits on a hilltop of Falmouth, Massachusetts. Falmouth Hospital is a part of Cape Cod Healthcare, the leading network of healthcare services for residents of Cape Cod. Falmouth was recently honored as one of the Thomson Reuters Top 100 Most Improved Hospitals in America, reflected in its 76% patient satisfaction rate. Falmouth Hospital contains a state-of-the-art catheterization lab with modern cardiac imaging technology, and it has one of the busiest emergency centers in Massachusetts during the summer months. Find affordable treatments for emphysema, staph infection and sepsis here.
6. Lahey Hospital and Medical Center – Burlington, MA
Lahey Hospital and Medical Center reflects the vision of Dr. Frank Lahey that “every component of a patient’s healthcare would be coordinated under one roof.” This physician-led, nonprofit group practice hospital is not only ranked #5 in Massachusetts, but is also nationally ranked as #40 in urology and as high-performing in 10 specialties, according to U.S. News & World Report. Patients have a comparatively positive experience at Lahey with a patient satisfaction rate of 82%. Lahey Hospital and Medical Center is also a teaching and research hospital, which gives patients access to new clinical trial therapies for various diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Look to this highly ranked hospital for affordable disk surgery and various types of angioplasty.
7. Beverly Hospital – Beverly, MA
Beverly Hospital is part of Lahey Health, a network of community healthcare centers. Beverly Hospital is a 221[NP1] -bed medical center and acute care facility dedicated to the residents of Beverly and 13 surrounding communities. Beverly Hospital offers a range of services including outpatient care in cardiology, women’s health, rehabilitation, and geriatrics. Of the many treatments Beverly provides, those for hip fracture repair and schizophrenia are most affordable in comparison to other Massachusetts hospitals. The hospital receives a patient satisfaction rate of 75%.
8. Mount Auburn Hospital – Cambridge, MA
Closely affiliated with Harvard Medical School, Mount Auburn Hospital is a regional teaching hospital. Founded in 1886, Mount Auburn Hospital was the first hospital in Cambridge. The hospital now provides inpatient services in all medical specialties. With a patient satisfaction rate of 84%, residents of Cambridge and surrounding communities are comparatively happy with their Mount Auburn experience. Mount Auburn continues to develop excellence in women’s services, heart care, cancer care and many other areas. Among its services, Mount Auburn Hospital provides affordable surgery to the hip or thigh bone, with and without complications.
9. Cape Cod Hospital – Hyannis, MA
Cape Cod Hospital is a regional, nonprofit, acute care medical center invested in caring for residents of Cape Cod and surrounding communities. This 259-bed facility lies on a 38-acre waterfront campus and has one of the busiest emergency centers in Massachusetts, seeing more than 85,000 patients annually. Cape Cod Hospital conducts more than 12,500 surgical procedures and delivers approximately 1,000 babies each year. Its patient satisfaction rate is relatively high at 80%. U.S. News & World Report ranks Cape Cod Hospital as #17 in Massachusetts and as high-performing in urology. Affordable treatments for cardiac catheterization and spinal fusion can be found here.
10. South Shore Hospital – South Weymouth, MA
South Shore Hospital has a reputation as a premier health care facility, according to U.S. News & World Report: It is the #6 ranked hospital in Massachusetts, nationally ranked as #43 in ear, nose & throat services, and considered high-performing in nine specialties. As a subsidiary of the nonprofit, charitable health organizations Educational Corporation and South Shore Health, South Shore Hospital is supported by many generous donors. The hospital serves the needs of southeastern Massachusetts with a wide array of services including a Level III neonatal intensive care unit, a 24-hour pediatric emergency room, cardiology services and reproductive endocrinology services. South Shore has a 76% patient satisfaction rate, and it offers affordable treatments for aortic aneurysm repair and angioplasty with no stent placed.
|Ranking||Hospital Name||Location||Most Affordable for Common Diagnoses/Treatments Such As:||Patient Satisfaction|
|1||Winchester Hospital||Winchester||Congestive heart failure, anemia, asthma||82%|
|2||Morton Hospital||Taunton||Respiratory failure, acute heart attack, kidney damage||50%|
|3||Good Samaritan Medical Center||Brockton||Pneumonia, appendicitis, bladder infection||61%|
|4||Norwood Hospital||Norwood||Tuberculosis, hernia, dehydration||61%|
|5||Falmouth Hospital||Falmouth||Emphysema, staph infection, sepsis||76%|
|6||Lahey Hospital and Medical Center||Burlington||Disk surgery, angioplasty with various stent types placed||82%|
|7||Beverly Hospital||Beverly||Hip fracture repair, schizophrenia||75%|
|8||Mount Auburn Hospital||Cambridge||Surgery to hip or thigh bone, with and without complications||84%|
|9||Cape Cod Hospital||Hyannis||Cardiac catheterization, spinal fusion||80%|
|10||South Shore Hospital||South Weymouth||Aortic aneurysm repair, angioplasty with no stent placed||76%|
Affordability: Using CMS Medicare Provider Charge Data, we calculated which of the 50 largest hospitals in Massachusetts (of 60 total) 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 ratings 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.
Massachusetts flag photo courtesy of Shutterstock.