Walmart Adds Kidney Transplants At Mayo To Centers Of Excellence Program

WALMART EARNS
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Walmart is adding kidney transplants to the list of specialized medical procedures it will cover for its workers under its now 22-year-old Centers of Excellence Program for organ transplantation.

The world’s largest retailer in 1997 began its Centers of Excellence program as a way to get organ transplants to workers in need. In a conference call Wednesday with employers put on by the Catalyst for Payment Reform, Lisa Woods, Walmart’s senior director of U.S. healthcare, said centers of excellence would be performing kidney transplants as a covered benefit starting in 2020. The transplant locations are Mayo Clinic sites in Rochester, Minn.; Phoenix, Ariz. and Jacksonville, Fla. where Walmart already sends patients for other transplant procedures and certain other treatments in Walmart’s broader Centers of Excellence program.

"As one transplant center with three locations, we are in a unique position to serve Walmart's beneficiaries," said Dr. Carrie Schinstock, Mayo’s medical director of Kidney Transplantation. "All of our patients benefit from our innovative approaches which include kidney donor chains, maximizing use of all donated organs, and performing kidney transplants before patients go on dialysis - all of which lead to more transplants with better outcomes."

Catalyst for Payment Reform is a nonprofit working with employers and other purchasers of medical care to coax the U.S. healthcare system into offering more value for the dollars they are spending. Walmart was discussing its various healthcare programs it is launching next year for its employees and large employers are watching these efforts closely, those on the call said.

Since 2012, the centers of excellence program has been greatly expanded beyond transplants and was given the more formal name “Walmart Centers of Excellence,” offering the retailer’s workers specialized treatments for cancer, organ transplantation, spine and heart surgeries at sites across the country. Walmart now has 16 Centers of Excellence health systems nationwide across all programs combined offering workers treatments for cancer, organ transplantation, joint replacement, spine and heart surgeries at sites that include the Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Geisinger Health System and Johns Hopkins.

Under Walmart’s Centers of Excellence Program, the retailer sends employee patients to designated sites to better ensure they are getting treatment that is done right the first time to improve quality and keep the employee healthy and working. If they are sent to a Center of Excellence, “travel, lodging and a daily allowance will be provided for the recipient and a caregiver for all services covered under the Centers of Excellence program,” Walmart said.

"We are able to coordinate patient care and waiting list management across our three locations so that patients can receive a transplant sooner than would otherwise be possible," said Dr. Charles Rosen, a transplant surgeon and Medical Director of Contracting and Payor Relations at Mayo Clinic.

Today, Walmart’s two-decade old transplantation program has been followed with 88% using some kind of Center of Excellence whether it be for transplantation, heart surgery, spinal or joint replacement, according to National Business Group on Health’s 2019 Large Employers’ Health Care Strategy and Plan Design Survey of about 170 large U.S. employers.

The addition of the transplant network to the Walmart Center of Excellence program is only the latest effort the retailer is gaining converts to among policymakers and employers.

“Quality of care in the U.S. varies significantly,” said Catalyst for Payment Reform executive director Suzanne Delbanco. “Walmart is setting the pace for employers by pioneering new ways of connecting employees to the highest quality providers to ensure they get the right care, delivered in the right way, and in the right setting.”

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Walmart is adding kidney transplants to the list of specialized medical procedures it will cover for its workers under its now 22-year-old Centers of Excellence Program for organ transplantation.

The world’s largest retailer in 1997 began its Centers of Excellence program as a way to get organ transplants to workers in need. In a conference call Wednesday with employers put on by the Catalyst for Payment Reform, Lisa Woods, Walmart’s senior director of U.S. healthcare, said centers of excellence would be performing kidney transplants as a covered benefit starting in 2020. The transplant locations are Mayo Clinic sites in Rochester, Minn.; Phoenix, Ariz. and Jacksonville, Fla. where Walmart already sends patients for other transplant procedures and certain other treatments in Walmart’s broader Centers of Excellence program.

"As one transplant center with three locations, we are in a unique position to serve Walmart's beneficiaries," said Dr. Carrie Schinstock, Mayo’s medical director of Kidney Transplantation. "All of our patients benefit from our innovative approaches which include kidney donor chains, maximizing use of all donated organs, and performing kidney transplants before patients go on dialysis - all of which lead to more transplants with better outcomes."

Catalyst for Payment Reform is a nonprofit working with employers and other purchasers of medical care to coax the U.S. healthcare system into offering more value for the dollars they are spending. Walmart was discussing its various healthcare programs it is launching next year for its employees and large employers are watching these efforts closely, those on the call said.

Since 2012, the centers of excellence program has been greatly expanded beyond transplants and was given the more formal name “Walmart Centers of Excellence,” offering the retailer’s workers specialized treatments for cancer, organ transplantation, spine and heart surgeries at sites across the country. Walmart now has 16 Centers of Excellence health systems nationwide across all programs combined offering workers treatments for cancer, organ transplantation, joint replacement, spine and heart surgeries at sites that include the Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Geisinger Health System and Johns Hopkins.

Under Walmart’s Centers of Excellence Program, the retailer sends employee patients to designated sites to better ensure they are getting treatment that is done right the first time to improve quality and keep the employee healthy and working. If they are sent to a Center of Excellence, “travel, lodging and a daily allowance will be provided for the recipient and a caregiver for all services covered under the Centers of Excellence program,” Walmart said.

"We are able to coordinate patient care and waiting list management across our three locations so that patients can receive a transplant sooner than would otherwise be possible," said Dr. Charles Rosen, a transplant surgeon and Medical Director of Contracting and Payor Relations at Mayo Clinic.

Today, Walmart’s two-decade old transplantation program has been followed with 88% using some kind of Center of Excellence whether it be for transplantation, heart surgery, spinal or joint replacement, according to National Business Group on Health’s 2019 Large Employers’ Health Care Strategy and Plan Design Survey of about 170 large U.S. employers.

The addition of the transplant network to the Walmart Center of Excellence program is only the latest effort the retailer is gaining converts to among policymakers and employers.

“Quality of care in the U.S. varies significantly,” said Catalyst for Payment Reform executive director Suzanne Delbanco. “Walmart is setting the pace for employers by pioneering new ways of connecting employees to the highest quality providers to ensure they get the right care, delivered in the right way, and in the right setting.”

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