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Some Firms Save Money By Offering Employees Free Surgery
National Public Radio

Lowe’s home improvement company, like a growing number of large companies nationwide, offers its employees an eye-catching benefit: Certain major surgeries at prestigious hospitals are free.

How do these firms do it? With a way of paying that’s gaining steam across the health care industry, and that Medicare is now adopting for hip and knee replacements in 67 metropolitan areas, including New York, Miami and Denver.

Here’s how the program works: Lowe’s and other employers pay one flat rate for a particular procedure from any of a number of hospitals they’ve selected for its quality. And, under the agreement, the hospital handles all the treatment within a certain time frame — the surgery, the physical therapy and any complications that arise — all for that one price.

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