Walmart’s Local Pilot of a Physician Network Based on Quality

Walmart has launched a pilot benefits program that selects physicians based on quality, the Dallas Morning News reports. The Walmart network will be built from physicians accepting new patients who meet quality standards in primary care, cardiology, gastroenterology, endocrinology, obstetrics, oncology, orthopedics and pulmonology.

The network by Walmart is one of many moves across the country to shift healthcare spending to physicians who avoid unnecessary surgeries, follow evidence-based care pathways, and cut overall spending and waste, which is especially prevalent in musculoskeletal procedures, which are also some of the most expensive. City governments and private companies alike are incentivizing their employees to find providers who follow best practices, which improves quality and cost.

Physicians will be analyzed by Nashville’s Embold Health, which will evaluate how well the doctors adhere to the latest research, clinical guidelines, and deliver quality outcomes without waste. Adam Stavisky, senior vice president of U.S. benefits at Walmart, told DMN that 30 percent of all health care spending is wasted on unnecessary care.

Walmart also uses a center for excellence model, where certain hospitals are identified for quality and cost measures, and employees are incentivized to go there for some surgeries. If they do, Walmart will pay 100 percent of the bills, travel, and lodging for the employee and a family member. Around 900 Texas Walmart employees have used the program since 2017, DMN reports.

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