Series to help Omaha World-Herald readers learn about changes in health care | Health issues

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Health care is an important part of our lives, large and small.

Sometimes it’s as simple as taking our kids for a routine checkup. At the other extreme, it may imply the need for life-saving treatment.

Health care often ends up taking up a significant portion of our personal finances and looms large in employers’ and governments’ budgets.

From a community perspective, health care has a huge impact on our economy — in hospital payrolls, support services, and building new clinics and other facilities. In Omaha, for example, the NExT project effort at the University of Nebraska Medical Center is poised to inject a massive amount of investment into an already growing part of the city.

This was all true, of course, long before we heard about COVID-19. But the pandemic has drawn extra attention to the healthcare world, exposing some of its challenges and forcing changes in the way things are done.

Today, to help readers learn more about the evolution of health care, we are pleased to launch Health Matters in the Heartland.

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This monthly series is a collaborative effort between the Nebraska newspapers of Lee Enterprises, including the Omaha World-Herald and the Lincoln Journal Star. It is brought to you with the help of main sponsor Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska and a group of monthly sponsors.

Each episode will delve into an aspect of healthcare, focusing on what consumers need to know. In addition to a detailed story, we’ll have media content, additional coverage and online features at omaha.com/exclusive/health-matters. As the series progresses, you will be able to find this content in one convenient central location online.

Today’s article examines the forces driving post-COVID care and costs. Next month you will read about changes in mental health treatment. In the coming months, we’ll cover topics like technology, employment, virtual care, and the challenges of delivering top-notch services to every corner of the state.

The World-Herald has provided award-winning health coverage throughout the pandemic, just as we have for many years before. This initial story is from our health reporter Julie Anderson, whose experience and knowledge allow her to put trends and changes in local health care into clear context. Other reporters who work for The World-Herald, Journal Star and other Nebraska newspapers owned by Lee will provide subsequent installments.

At The World-Herald, we value our loyal subscribers who help us maintain our talented team of reporters, photojournalists and other staff.

And we are grateful for the additional support for this project from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska and our other sponsors.

Our goal is to be your best source for health care information. As we move forward with this series, feel free to contact us with questions and ideas about what matters to you.

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