The series aims to help Omaha World-Herald readers learn about healthcare changes | health matters

Healthcare is an important part of our lives, in both big and small ways.

Sometimes it’s as basic as taking our kids for a routine check-up. At the other extreme, it may involve the need for life-saving treatment.

Health care often ends up taking a large portion of our personal finances, and it greatly impacts the budgets of employers and governments.

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, Project NExT efforts at the University of Nebraska Medical Center are poised to pour a massive amount of investment into an already growing part of the city.

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

Today, as a way to help readers learn more about how healthcare is evolving, we are excited to launch Health Matters in Heartland.

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

Each batch will look at an aspect of healthcare, focusing on what consumers need to know. Alongside the in-depth story, we’ll have multimedia 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 a convenient central place online.

Today’s article looks at the factors that drive care and costs after COVID. Next month, you will read about changes in mental health treatment. In the coming months, we’ll look at topics such as technology, employment, virtual care, and the challenges of delivering a first-class service to every corner of the state.

The World-Herald has been providing award-winning health coverage throughout the pandemic, just as we did for many years before that. This initial story was written by our health reporter Julie Anderson, whose experience and knowledge allow her to contextualize trends and changes in local health care. Other reporters working for The World-Herald, Journal Star and other Lee-owned newspapers in Nebraska will provide later installments.

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

We are grateful for additional support for this project from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska and other sponsors.

Our goal is to be the best news source for information about healthcare. As we move forward in this series, feel free to reach out to us with questions and ideas about what interests you.

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