Lowe's, Wal-Mart Strike Deal With 4 Hospitals for Hip, Knee Replacements

Wal-Mart and Lowe's have formed a deal with four hospitals to provide hip and knee replacements for no out-of-pocket costs for the companies' 1.4 million insured employees and dependents.

 The following hospitals are participating in the program:

• Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle
• Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore
• Kaiser Permanente Orange County Irvine (Calif.) Medical Center
• Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Mo.

Mooresville, N.C.-based Lowe's, the second-largest home improvement retailer worldwide, and Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart and other large employers are part of the Pacific Business Group on Health Negotiating Alliance. The hip and knee replacement program is part of the PGBH's newly created Employers Center of Excellence Network.

Employees will receive consultations and care covered at 100 percent without deductible or coinsurance, plus travel, lodging and living expenses for the patient and a caregiver. The program is voluntary, and employees or their covered dependents can still choose to receive care from local providers and incur routine costs.

A Wal-Mart official said each hospital has a proven record of practicing evidence-based medicine with higher-than-average patient outcomes for hip and knee replacements, according to the release.

Wal-Mart and Lowe's have similar arrangements with Cleveland Clinic for fixed-price cardiac procedures.

More Articles on Hospitals and Employers:

Where Commercial and Employer Bundled Payments Stand in Healthcare Right Now
Which Providers and Employers Have Commercial Bundled Payments?
What Makes a Hospital Attractive to Employers?

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