DENVER, Aug. 28, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Taking a critical step in eliminating confusion around health care costs, as well as addressing a significant need among today's retired workers, Colorado Public Employees' Retirement Association (PERA) announced it will now offer its retirees in the pre-Medicare program a new hip and knee replacement benefit option called PERACare Select. The benefit is available at five local health care facilities through a partnership with the HealthONE family of health care facilities.
According to a study by the Mayo Clinic, more than seven million people in the U.S. are living with a hip or knee replacement, and this number is expected to increase greatly as the population ages.
Predictable Costs Benefit the Entire System
With more than 10,000 retirees eligible for this program, Colorado PERA is partnering with skilled practitioners at high-quality care centers to provide a fixed price for surgery and medical services related to hip and knee replacement procedures, from intake to discharge. Colorado PERA retirees will now have a clear understanding of the cost of the procedures up front. For most pre-Medicare retirees enrolled in an Anthem plan, there will be no out-of-pocket cost or co-pays associated with either of these procedures. By taking advantage of the PERACare Select benefit, retirees could save as much as $13,000 in out-of-pocket costs.
"We all need to work together to crack the code on cost confusion while delivering high quality, cost-effective health care," said Gregory W. Smith, executive director and CEO of PERA. "The new PERACare Select benefit for hips and knees allows Colorado PERA retirees to become better consumers and advocates of their own health care, which improves the patient experience and saves money for both the patient and the overall health care system."
Quality and Price are Now Aligned
Throughout Colorado, the typical total cost of a hip or knee replacement can vary by as much as $40,000, making it difficult for patients to predict the out-of-pocket cost associated with the procedure. In addition, the evidence of the direct correlation between cost and quality is inconsistent. Most recent studies have found that the association between cost and quality is moderate, and that there is no clear indication if that association is positive or negative.
"Health care leaders across the country are working to provide the highest quality care, improve the health of the overall population, and provide lower costs," said Sylvia Young, president and CEO of HealthONE. "HealthONE is committed to that charge and we are pleased to partner with PERA to offer this benefit to its retirees."
The providers participating in the PERACare Select Program are highly qualified, experienced surgeons who practice at local HealthONE facilities such as Rose Medical Center, North Suburban Medical Center, Swedish Medical Center, the Musculoskeletal Surgery Center and the Rocky Mountain Surgery Center.
"At PERA, we are all about innovation and we actively seek to improve the services and options we provide to our membership – all while striving to hold down costs. PERA retirees will benefit from the partnership we formed with HealthONE and Anthem to deliver hip and knee replacements, and I invite PERA retirees who are in need of a new hip or knee to consider PERACare Select," Smith said.
PERACare Select is available now to all pre-Medicare Colorado PERA retirees covered by a PERACare Anthem insurance plan. For more information visit www.copera.org/programs/peracare-select or call 1-800-759-7372.
About Colorado PERA
Colorado PERA provides retirement and other benefits to more than 529,000 current and former teachers, State Troopers, corrections officers, snow plow drivers and other public employees who provide valuable service to all of Colorado. PERA is a vital and stable contributor to Colorado's economy, distributing $3.5 billion in 2014 to retirees who live in Colorado. PERA manages $47.7 billion in defined benefit and defined contribution assets, and helps sustain more than 29,000 jobs, making it one of Colorado's best investments.
HealthONE is the largest healthcare system in the metro Denver area with more than 10,000 employees. As part of the HealthONE family, The Medical Center of Aurora, North Suburban Medical Center, Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center, Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, Rose Medical Center, Sky Ridge Medical Center, Swedish Medical Center, and Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital work together to provide a higher level of care. In addition, our family of services includes five hospital free-standing emergency departments and numerous ambulatory surgery centers, occupational medicine clinics, physician practices, imaging centers, and AIRLIFE-DENVER, which provides critical care air and ground transportation across a 10-state region.
To learn more about the HealthONE family, go to HealthONECares.com.
SOURCE Colorado PERA