Walmart and UnitedHealth Group announced 10-year collaboration Wednesday that will help several Walmart healthcare facilities transition to value-based care.
The retail company is working to expand its presence in healthcare, launching Walmart Health in 2019, which offers primary and emergency care, labs, x-rays and diagnostics, behavioral health, dental, optometric and hearing services. Walmart Health currently has 27 locations in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia and Illinois.
The news comes after other major retailers have made big moves into healthcare, such as CVS Health acquisition home healthcare company Signify Health and Amazon acquisition primary care company One Medical.
Walmart’s partnership with UHG will help in its plan to expand health care services in an affordable way, said Dr. Sujanya (Chini) Puluruvice president of clinical operations at Walmart Health Omnichannel Care.
“As part of this collaboration, Walmart Health will gain access to UnitedHealthcare and Optum’s clinical expertise and risk-based resources in Medicare Advantage, leading to better health outcomes and helping people live better, healthier lives Puluru said.
The partnership will begin in 2023 at 15 Walmart Health locations in Florida and Georgia, Puluru said. Optum, a UnitedHealth Group business, will use its analytics and support tools to help Walmart Health clinicians provide more value-based care to Medicare Advantage beneficiaries. Value-based care pays providers based on the quality of care, compared to the fee-for-service model, which pays on the quantity of services provided.
“UnitedHealth Group and Walmart share a deep commitment to high-quality, affordable primary care,” UHG said in a statement. “Working together, we will bring Optum’s distinctive model of high-quality care to more Medicare Advantage members in communities across the country… Optum Health, a UnitedHealth Group business, will provide Walmart Health clinicians with a suite of analytics tools and support of solutions to help develop their ability to provide effective value-based care.’
Additionally, the partnership will bring a co-branded Medicare Advantage plan to Georgia, called UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage Walmart Flex, starting in January 2023. Walmart Health Virtual Care will also be in-network starting in January 2023 for commercial members in Choice Plus at UnitedHealthcare PPO plan.
The retailer is able to reach quite a few people in the US, the company touted. About 90 percent of the population lives within 10 miles of a Walmart, Puluru said.
While the partnership is starting with 15 locations in Florida and Georgia, the goal is to expand its presence into new markets and different health plans.
“Ultimately, the collaboration aims to serve even more people, including those in commercial and Medicaid plans, by providing access to fresh food and enhancing ongoing initiatives to address the social determinants of health, over-the-counter and prescription drugs, and and dental and vision services,” Puluru said.