When it comes to performing a lot of knee and hip replacements at the lowest cost, the Crystal Clinic Orthopaedic Center ranks among the best hospitals in the country, according to a national study.
A new “best hospitals” tool on the NerdWallet website — www.nerdwallet.com — shows the Akron hospital has the fourth-lowest average hospital charges for the procedures in the nation. Crystal Clinic’s hospital charges or bills for the procedures before Medicare or insurance companies get discounts average $15,465, compared to a national average of $52,063.
The Crystal Clinic also has the lowest average payment from Medicare in the nation among all hospitals that perform at least 200 knee or hip replacement surgeries annually, a benchmark used by the researchers as a quality indicator. Studies have shown facilities that perform more surgeries tend to have better outcomes.
The Crystal Clinic, a joint venture between local physicians and Summa Health System, gets an average $10,740 per hip or joint replacement surgery from Medicare. The national average is $13,240, the researchers found.
The findings are based on hospital data from Medicare, the federal health insurance program for people ages 65 and older and some younger disabled Americans.
Dr. Robert F. Kepley, the Crystal Clinic Orthopaedic Center’s inpatient operating room director, said the hospital’s focus solely on orthopedic problems helps provide “the best possible patient care in the most cost-effective manner.”
The doctors and other staff are experienced because of the focus, he said. And the large number of procedures performed (more than 500 hip and knee replacements per year, according to the website) allows the hospital to negotiate better rates with medical device vendors.
“From pre-operatively preparing the patient to performing major joint replacement surgery and rehabilitating the patient from this surgery, every detail can be managed with a practice-makes-perfect approach that ensures not only a complication-free recovery but one that will happen in the most cost-effective manner,” Kepley said in an email.
Monterey Park Hospital in California has the highest charges in the country for knee and hip replacements, with an average sticker price of $223,272 per surgery, according to the website. Monterey Park’s actual average payment from Medicare is $21,795.
These are a few other examples of average hospital charges and average Medicare payments for the procedures among Northeast Ohio hospitals from the website.
Through the website, consumers can compare average hospital charges and Medicare payments in specific regions.
People also can use the NerdWallet website to search for information about the 100 most frequently performed inpatient procedures at more than 3,200 hospitals nationwide.
Agency names CEO
A new leader recently joined Community Health Center, a nonprofit agency that provides substance abuse treatment to thousands of patients annually.
Robert “Bob” Stokes, 54, recently joined the organization as its new chief executive officer. He replaces Ted Ziegler, who retired after 35 years.
Community Health Center offers inpatient and outpatient substance abuse treatment for adults, mental health services, primary health care, adolescent treatment, prevention education, housing and other services. Last year, more than 6,800 patients were served by the organization.
Stokes most recently served as president and chief executive of Compass Corp. for Recovery Services, a nonprofit in Toledo that provides substance abuse treatment. He previously was chief operating officer at Coleman Professional Services, a behavioral health agency in the region.
In his new role, Stokes is responsible for a budget of about $12 million and staff of 175. His salary was not disclosed.
Worksite wellness event
A free event designed to help employers develop programs to improve the health of workers will take place from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sept. 12 at the Akron-Summit County Public Library, 60 S. High St., Akron.
The sixth Summit County Worksite Conference will feature talks by GOJO Industries Chief Operating Officer Mark Lerner and Caroline Fraker, vice president at MedBen.
For more information or to register, visit www.summitworksitewellness.com.
Cheryl Powell can be reached at 330-996-3902 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Powell on Twitter at twitter.com/abjcherylpowell.