Nebraska Farmers Union and Nebraska Orthopaedic Hospital have formed a partnership the two groups say will help rural residents get high quality medical services at a more affordable cost.
NeFU board of directors authorized the development of this partnership for a variety of reasons, says John Hansen, the organization's president. They include:
•Farming and ranching is a dangerous way to make a living, and the long hours and hard work wears out shoulders, knees, and hips among other body parts.
•Farmers and ranchers are exposed to chemicals, dust, farm animals, and dangerous equipment.
•Nearly half of farmers and ranchers rely on single insurance policies that often include high deductibles and a long list of exclusions.
•Major medical issues continue to be a leading cause of farm and ranch bankruptcies.
Since many farmers and ranchers have high deductibles and/or many body parts excluded from coverage, getting high quality medical services at affordable costs represents an ongoing need for many farm and ranch families, according to Hansen.
"We really like Nebraska Orthopaedic Hospital's open and transparent approach to providing medical services, including their costs. It is a long overdue breath of fresh air in this very expensive part of our lives," says Hansen. "When we compared costs for specific operations, we saw the cost difference for a knee replacement between Nebraska Orthopaedic Hospital and the average for other facilities in the state was $22,110. If you are paying for some or all medical costs out of your own pocket, that is a lot of money. In addition, Nebraska Orthopaedic Hospital offers clients paying their own costs an additional 35% savings."Tom Macy, Nebraska Orthopaedic Hospital's CEO, says, "Our focus on a value-based approach to orthopaedic care aligns well with the health and economic challenges inherent to the families working in and supporting an agricultural way of life."