Bundled spine surgery for Walmart, Lowe's employees — 6 things to know


Pacific Business Group on Health expanded its Employers Centers of Excellence Network to include spine surgery.

"We vigorously evaluated the participating hospitals' experience in evidence-based medicine and use consistently applied patient appropriateness criteria to ensure that participating employees are receiving higher quality care," said President and CEO of the Pacific Business Group on Health David Lansky.


Here are six key facts on the initiative:


1. The network includes large employers like Lowe's and Walmart, which collaborates with three hospital providers in the United States to send employees for healthcare. The hospitals are Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pa., Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Mo., and Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle.


2. The new initiative to include spine surgery was launched April 1.


3. The network provided hip and knee replacements last year, reporting more than 500 patients received hip or knee replacements through the ECEN center of excellence last year.


4. If employees choose to have surgery done at a center of excellence, they receive surgery at no cost and the network also covers travel and related expenses.


5. ECEN uses bundled rates for both spine care and joint replacement to offer predictable and transparent prices. The employers can offer the program to employees at no cost while still controlling their overall healthcare spend.


6. Employees covered by ECEN can choose to undergo care from local providers outside of the centers of excellence. However, those patients are subject to routine costs.


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