Project Tests Direct Contracting for Surgery

A little-noticed announcement in February may be a watershed event affecting who, what, and how complex surgery is provided throughout the United States. That announcement discussed a new relationship between Lowe's, the nation's second-largest home improvement retailer, and the Cleveland Clinic to direct all heart surgeries for Lowe’s employees and dependents to the Clinic. This three-year deal is to provide heart surgery to all Lowe’s employees and dependents. To encourage participation, Lowe’s is prepared to pay for the travel of the patient and one family member and to discount the employee’s co-pay and deductible. If self-insured companies, insurance companies, and/or PHA firms, are able to direct complex surgeries to providers with the lowest cost and best outcomes, this creates significant challenges for hospitals.
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