Painless Payment Plans
A groundbreaking humanitarian initiative gives patients access to free medical care in exchange for community service.
Healthcare is so expensive in America. Did you know that medical debts are the leading cause of individual bankruptcies in the United States? Moreover, more than 65% of these patients utilize their insurance but still can’t cover the bill.
Now, imagine if you could volunteer your time instead of paying your medical debt. Well, Dr. Demetrio Aguila III is a Nebraska-based plastic surgeon who is allowing his patients to do just that. He is also the president and CEO of Healing Hands of Nebraska, a medical and multi-specialty surgical practice that offers surgical solutions to chronic pain, as well as surgical treatments for conditions of the nose, throat, and ears. “I see too many people who need surgery, but just can’t afford it,” he says. “I decided to make it fair, as long as people agreed to pay the goodness forward.”
Through his surgeries, Dr. Aguila has helped the immobile walk, veterans recover from chronic pain, alleviate the pressures of sinusitis, and many more miracles. Dr. Aguila is indeed an expert in aesthetic and reconstructive surgery, but his claim to fame is his kind heart. As part of his M25 Program, Dr. Aguila levels the playing field when it comes to healthcare by allowing his patients to skip payments and better their communities with volunteer work. He calls it the “painless payment plan.”
Dr. Aguila is a specialized doctor with over 20 years of experience. He’s traveled to 31 countries on his mission to heal. He holds a Doctor of Medicine (MD), Medical Sciences, and Bachelor of Arts (BA) both from Boston University. He also studied Aerospace Medicine at the United States Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, Otorhinolaryngology (the study of diseases of the ear, nose, and throat) at Mount Sinai School of Medicine of New York University, and Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. And not to mention his current pursuit of his Master of Arts in Theology/Theological Studies from The Augustine Institute.
During his military service, Dr. Aguila gained a unique perspective in the medical treatment of military veterans. He was assigned as a combat flight surgeon on various deployments, including South Korea, Japan, and Operations such as Southern Watch, Northern Watch, Enduring Freedom, and Noble Eagle. While deployed, he flew combat and combat support missions on various aircraft. His last assignment was to the 99th Surgical Operations Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base. He is the recipient of many military honors such as the Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Force Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Aerial Achievement Medal, Air Force District Washington Surgical Excellence Award, and NATO Medal, to name a few.
With all those credentials, Dr. Aguila could charge an arm and a leg for his expertise, but he’s fixed hundreds of nerve-related injuries like carpal tunnel, sciatica, back pain, and foot drop for a fraction of the cost. The M25 Program allows those who can’t afford the cost of surgery to donate time to a partnering nonprofit, like the Orphan Grain Train, a volunteer network that ships food, clothing, and medical supplies. Dr. Aguila makes sure not to focus on price but impact. The cost of the procedure for someone enrolled in the M25 is based on the hours it takes to complete the surgery. For example, a $5,000 procedure might require 250 hours of community service. Take a moment to see how M25 works…
More to Life
For his patients with numbness and chronic pain due to trauma, chemotherapy, and diabetic neuropathy, or those who have undergone an inguinal hernia repair, or C-sections, Dr. Aguila’s method allows them to get well physically but also improves their well-being.
“There’s nothing better than giving back your time and resources,” he says. “That’s how we make the world a better place.”
On top of that, Dr. Aguila is one of the few surgeons who can perform peripheral nerve surgery, not just in Nebraska but in other neighboring states like Iowa, Colorado, Kansas, and South Dakota. As an aesthetic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Aguila can also perform breast lifts and augmentations, obstructive sleep apnea surgery, functional and aesthetic nasal and upper airway corrective surgery. He is also a diplomate of the American Board of Otolaryngology and American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Healing Through the M25 Program
While Dr. Aguila has a long list of accomplishments, it wouldn’t mean anything if he didn’t help people, he says. “I have to make my part of the world more caring, more loving. I have to help people, and it’s more than healthcare. It’s how we treat people.”
This ideology, which was the birth of the M25 Program, comes from the Bible, Matthew 25:40, which states, “Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” Dr. Aguila believes that we are all people, not one better than the other, and it shows in his practice.
According to Dr. Aguila, the mission of Healing Hands of Nebraska is to provide world-class healthcare to all the people seeking their services in a way that is fair, compassionate, innovative, affordable, and forward-thinking. The program focuses on restoring the doctor-patient relationship and giving patients more power over their healthcare.
“My priority is to offer hope to any patients who might have given up on their health due to cost,” he says. “I don’t care if you are the CEO of a Fortune 500, or you don’t have a cent to your name; we all deserve quality healthcare.”
For more information on the amazing work of Dr. Aguila, visit healinghandsofnebraska.com.