Making High Quality Care Affordable
In emergency situations, most people’s main concern is receiving immediate, effective care. But after the emergency situation has resolved and patients start to recover, their main concern is often paying for that care.
At Columbus Community Hospital, our leaders pride themselves on creating strategies that lead to excellent health care at a reasonable cost.
“We have a fiduciary responsibility to our community,” said Mike Hansen, CCH president and CEO. “We focus on being a low cost, high quality provider in comparison with our competition.”
The Nebraska Hospital Association (NHA) offers inpatient pricing and quality data on its member hospitals. Consumers can log on to the NHA Care Compare website at www.nhacarecompare.com
to compare pricing and quality data for Nebraska hospitals.
“When we compare ourselves to our peer group, 80-90 percent of our charges are the lowest or next to the lowest charges,” Hansen said.
For example, according to the NHA Care Compare website, the average cost for a cesarean delivery at CCH for the twelve-month time period ending in June 2017 was $13,828. The average cost for the same procedure at Nebraska hospitals with similar patient volume was $15,426, while the state average for all Nebraska hospitals was $19,771.
“Over the past decade, our annual aggregate price increases have averaged 4.3 percent,” Hansen explained. “Whereas a lot of hospitals are raising their charges by double digits, we have maintained that 4-4.5 percent increase.”
Hansen said it’s the hospital’s financial stability that allows it to keep costs low. He credits that financial success to smart business practices like maximizing revenues and controlling expenses.
“We do both extremely well,” he explained. “We also interact with our different commercial insurance companies to get feedback on our charges. Our goal is to get our charges to a fair point that is of good value to our patients.”
This financial strength of CCH also allows it to invest in new technology that produces better outcomes for patients.
Another reason CCH is able to maintain low costs for its patients is because of its waste elimination efforts. CCH has a Lean Facilitator who is in charge of removing wasteful spending or practices, as well as improving processes within the hospital. His responsibility is to improve the overall flow of the hospital, increase returns on investments and save critical resources.
“A typical hospital organization has from 20 to 30 percent waste,” said Bill Elton, CCH Lean Facilitator. “If we can find where that waste is and improve those processes, we can help the hospital be more efficient and cost-effective.”
Through this process, the hope is to increase patient satisfaction and improve the safety and quality of the care provided at CCH each day.
If you have additional questions about service pricing at Columbus Community Hospital, please call 402-562-3395.