A first-of-its-kind coalition of large U.S. employers—including Walmart and Lowe's—will offer no-cost coverage for hip and knee implant procedures at four U.S. health systems starting on Jan. 1, 2014.
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The companies joined the Pacific Business Group on Health (PBGH) Negotiating Alliance to create the Employers Centers for Excellence Network, which will offer no-cost knee- and hip-replacement surgeries for more than 1.5 million employees and their dependents at:
Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore;
Kaiser Permanente Orange County Irvine Medical Center in Irvine, Calif.;
Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Mo.; and
Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle.
Employees will receive consultations and treatment without deductibles or co-insurance, as well as travel, lodging, and living expenses for the patient and a caregiver. Participating employers will receive discounted rates for care, as well as "transparent and predictable costs," according to PBGH President and CEO David Lansky.
"These companies are working to help make sure that their employees get higher quality care and incur lower costs," says Lansky, adding, "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 new network is not the first foray into bundled payment initiatives for Lowe's or Walmart. Lowe's entered into a bundled-payment agreement with Cleveland Clinic for cardiac surgery, and Walmart and six hospitals—including Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic—launched bundled payments last year for workers' cardiac and spinal surgeries (Walmart release, 10/8; Rauber, "BizTalk," San Francisco Business Times, 10/8; Lee, Modern Healthcare, 10/8 [subscription required]).
Commercial Bundled Payment Tracker
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