Walmart and UnitedHealth Group* (UHG) on Wednesday announced a partnership to provide services and "improve the patient experience" for Medicare Advantage (MA) enrollees, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Arkansas, California, the District of Columbia, and Minnesota.
- Arkansas/Minnesota: Walmart and UHG on Wednesday announced a partnership to provide services and "improve the patient experience" for certain MA enrollees. The 10-year partnership, which combines the Walmart Health business with UHG's Optum business, will start in 2023 in 15 Walmart Health locations across Florida and Georgia. The program will eventually be expanded to MA enrollees around the country, regardless of the health plan they choose. Eventually, the partnership could bring hundreds of thousands of new customers to both businesses. "UnitedHealth Group and Walmart share a deep commitment to high-quality and affordable primary care led services that address all of a patient's health needs in ways that are convenient for them and improve health outcomes," said UHG CEO Andrew Witty. (Japsen, Forbes, 9/7)
*Advisory Board is a subsidiary of Optum, a division of UnitedHealth Group. All Advisory Board research, expert perspectives, and recommendations remain independent.
- California: Juul Labs on Tuesday agreed to pay $438.5 million dollars to 33 states and Puerto Rico to settle a two-year investigation into the role its marketing and sales practices played in the rise in teen vaping rates. The investigation, which was led by Connecticut, Oregon, and Texas, found that the company engaged "in an advertising campaign that appealed to youth, even though its e-cigarettes are both illegal for them to purchase and unhealthy for youth to use," according to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. "When I launched this investigation over two years ago, my goal was to make sure JUUL was held liable for any wrongdoing done in the past and ensure that they change direction to fully comply with the law going forward. This settlement helps accomplish both of those priorities," Paxton added. (Knutson, Axios, 9/6; Jewett, New York Times, 9/6; Perrone/Collins, AP/STAT, 9/6)
- District of Columbia: Children's National Hospital CEO Kurt Newman on Tuesday announced his retirement. Newman, who has led the hospital since 2011, will continue to lead the organization during the search for his successor. Under his leadership, the health system ranked among U.S. News & World Report's 10 best children's hospitals nationwide six years in a row. "Leading this incredible institution is the privilege of a lifetime. It's difficult to prepare to retire from a job and career that you love, but the time is right," Newman said. "Children's National is stronger than ever, and that is the best time to think about succession. I know many talented people will pursue the chance to lead this amazing organization. I will do all I can to support the search and ensure a successful and smooth transition." (Gooch, Becker's Hospital Review, 9/6)