Walmart and Lowe’s Offer FREE Hip and Knee Surgery
Biloine W. Young • Mon, October 14th, 2013
In an attempt to both improve medical care and lower costs for their employees, several large employers—including Walmart and Lowe’s—have launched a national Employers Centers of Excellence Network (ECEN) that will offer no-cost (to the patient) knee and hip replacement surgeries for their employees.
The four participating centers are Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland; Kaiser Permanente Orange County Irvine Medical Center in Irvine, California; Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Missouri; and Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, Washington.
David Lansky, president and chief executive officer of Pacific Business Group on Health Negotiating Alliance (PBGH-NA), told The Suburban Times of Lakewood, Washington, “These companies are working to help make sure that their employees get higher quality care and incur lower costs. The Employers Centers of Excellence Network is designed to serve as a model for delivering high quality health care with transparent and predictable costs.”
The national Employers Centers of Excellence Network will provider knee and hip replacement surgeries for the more than 1.5 million employees and their dependents enrolled in Walmart’s, Lowe’s and other large employers’ medical plans. Employees will be covered at 100% 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.
“This national program is about providing our associates with exceptional care and reducing their medical costs so that they pay nothing out of pocket when they use one of the designated facilities,” said Sally Welborn, senior vice president of global benefits at Wal-Mart, “Each of these providers has a proven record of practicing evidence-based medicine with above average positive patient outcomes in knee and hip replacement procedures.”