Walmart unveils healthcare pilot programs: 6 things to know

Walmart is testing new healthcare benefits and expanding a few existing programs for its employees in 2020 in an effort to cut its healthcare costs.

Six things to know:

1. Featured Providers. The retail giant is testing Featured Providers, a program that will help connect employees with local physicians who specialize in primary care, cardiology, gastroenterology, endocrinology, obstetrics, oncology, orthopedics or pulmonology. For the program, which will be rolled out in parts of Arkansas, Florida and Texas, Embold Health will synthesize data from public and private insurance programs to create reports on individual physicians. Walmart will use the data to provide employees with a list of local physicians with a track record of providing consistent quality care.

2. Personal Healthcare Assistant. In North Carolina and South Carolina, Walmart is testing Personal Healthcare Assistant, a concierge service to help employees address issues with healthcare billing, find a provider, set appointments and understand a diagnosis. The service, which works via a website, phone number and app, will also help employees coordinate transportation and find child care during appointments.

3. Expanded telehealth. Walmart will expand its telehealth program in Colorado, Wisconsin and Minnesota to include preventive health, chronic care management, urgent care and behavioral health. Through this program, employees can video chat with a physician from home for $4 per chat.

4. National quality provider resource. Walmart employees on all medical plans will be able to use the Grand Rounds app or website to find in-network physicians providing high-quality care. When employees search the website or app, physicians who provide high-quality care will appear at the top of the search results.

5. Centers for Excellence. Starting in 2020, Walmart will add kidney transplants to the list of procedures covered by its Centers for Excellence program. Through the program, Walmart pays for employees to travel to hospitals known for providing high-quality care to undergo certain procedures. The retailer pays for the full cost of the procedure.

6. Fitness club access. Walmart will offer employees nationwide access to fitness clubs for as little as $9 per bi-weekly pay period.

More articles on strategy:

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Walmart unveils plan to build healthcare workforce: 5 things to know


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