By bundling all costs for the surgery under one negotiated price and offering expertise that lowers the odds of complications, the Cleveland Clinicgave Bumbaugh and his employer a better deal than the hospital close to his home. In some cases, hospitals will drop their prices as much as 40 percent to guarantee a steady stream of patients they wouldn’t have otherwise, said Terry White, president of the BridgeHealth Medical Inc., a Denver-based benefit manager.To encourage employees, Lowe’s covers the full cost of surgery, as well as travel and lodging for the worker and a relative. The company health plan won’t cover thousands of dollars of unbundled costs at local hospitals.

“It’s a win-win-win” for patients, employers and the hospital, said Michael McMillan, Cleveland Clinic’s executive director of market and network services. “The patient has no out-of-pocket responsibility, employers have a better long-term financial result and we get patients.”

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