By just about any measure, OrthoNebraska Hospital is tops in its field for hip and knee replacement surgeries.
Low infection rates, low costs and high patient satisfaction surveys were key factors in Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska recent designation of OrthoNebraska as one of its Centers of Excellence for total knee or hip replacement surgeries.
“OrthoNebraska is the highest-ranking hospital in the area for hip and knee replacements and has the lowest infection and complication rate in the area. That alone puts us at the top of the list,” says Dr. Charles Burt, an orthopedic surgeon and hospital board chairman.
Patient survey data reported by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services found that 91 percent of those surveyed gave OrthoNebraska the highest rating possible for patient satisfaction.
OrthoNebraska’s 2018 deep hip and knee infection rate of 0.37 percent is less than half that of many other hospitals.
In terms of cost, OrthoNebraska has roughly 50 percent the average charge for both total hip and total knee replacements compared with other Nebraska facilities. This is partly because OrthoNebraska's average length of stay is lower than both the state and national averages.
OrthoNebraska has been doing knee replacements longer than any other singular-focus hospital in Nebraska and has been recognized for its efficiency by U.S. News & World Report, according to Burt, a founder of the hospital in 2004.
Levi Scheppers, chief executive officer of OrthoNebraska, says subspecialty expertise and culture are drivers of success: “We have a hospital that’s very closely aligned with our clinic. This creates a seamless experience and we can get them (patients) to the right physician specialist.” These specialists focus on the spine, neck, knees, hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, feet, ankles and hips.
"Everybody saves money if we provide excellent service," says Scheppers.
The 24-bed specialty hospital with 30-plus physicians performed nearly 9,500 surgeries in 2018.
The Centers of Excellence designation may allow a hip or knee replacement patient to have his or her deductible and coinsurance waived if the surgery is done at one of these hospitals, according to BCBSNE’s website.
“Our physicians are invested in orthopedics and want to do an extraordinary job. Our entire team creates a friendly and thoughtful experience with a focus on how the body moves,” Scheppers says.
And a great experience equals “a high rate of success with lower risks. That’s why Blue Cross Blue Shield (of Nebraska) reached out to us with its Centers of Excellence (designation).”