Retail giant Walmart made big news last week with the introduction of a first-of-its-kind Centers of Excellence program (See INDUSTRY NEWS). Working with six prominent health systems across the country, the program provides Walmart covered associates and family members with no out-of-pocket cost for select surgeries. Beyond the opportunity to provide employees with quality healthcare options and money savings, the program will enable Walmart to compare various first-rate medical centers in terms of survival rates, infection rates, readmissions, and other measurements of quality.
The potential implications of the program could be enormous for Walmart and for the industry as a whole (See SPOTLIGHT). The opportunity to control costs AND provide quality care to employees will no doubt inspire employers of all sizes to consider the advantages of creating a domestic network of centers of excellence.
Amanda Haar, Editor