Those are the stats so far for the Lowe’s Companies’ year-old heart surgery benefit offered through the Cleveland Clinic, according to Kyle Wendt, vice president of benefits for Lowe’s. Wendt delivered the information during a webinar sponsored by Cleveland Clinic and hosted by CRG.
Under the arrangement, Lowe’s pays to send employees and dependents in need of cardiac surgery to Cleveland Clinic. Lowe’s pays Cleveland Clinic a case rate for the surgery, with no out-of-pocket costs to patients. Lowe’s also pays travel and hotel costs for the patient and a companion. The program is optional to Lowe’s employees and dependents; about 125 were deemed potentially eligible. Those who don’t wish to use Cleveland Clinic can receive heart surgery as part of Lowe’s regular medical benefit, but must pay associated copays and deductibles.
Why don’t more Lowe’s employees and dependents use Cleveland? Wendt attributes it to the “dynamics of choice.” He also stresses the need to continue to educate employees about the benefits of the program, which he says is designed to provide the highest quality at no cost to the patient. As for cost savings to Lowe’s, Wendt says that isn’t a focus and hasn’t been measured to date.
Michael McMillan, executive director of market and network services at Cleveland Clinic, also spoke at the webinar — delivering quality data on the organization’s heart surgery program (see charts below).