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Kelly: When injury hospitalized him, Blue Cross of Nebraska CEO got up-close look at the state of health care

Executive Director - Friday, September 16, 2016

A year ago at home, one of Omaha’s foremost health care experts bumped his noggin.
It didn’t seem like much — he had stood up quickly and struck his head on an open cabinet door. He and his wife detected only a scalp abrasion and a little swelling.
As his symptoms became pronounced, though, he learned it was much more than that — a subdural hematoma, or bleeding on the brain.

It led to left-side seizures, intensive care in a hospital, weeks of rehabilitation, walking with a cane and a new perspective for this health care leader turned patient.
The patient was Steven S. Martin, longtime CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska, the state’s largest commercial health insurer.
In the weeks after his head bump, he traveled a lot and took aspirin for headaches. But on Oct. 10 in Chicago, he had an episode.

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