Walmart can save $30K by flying workers out of state for spine surgery

Angie Stewart -   Print  |

Walmart pays for its employees to travel and receive spine care at Danville, Pa.-based Geisinger through its center of excellence network — a strategy that saves the retail company big bucks, according to the Seneca Standard.

Three things to know:

1. One Walmart employee who suffered from mild neck pain and a tremor in his hands was told by a local surgeon that spine surgery was his best option. Walmart paid for the employee to fly to Pennsylvania for a second opinion at Geisinger Medical Center.

2. Geisinger physicians diagnosed the patient with Parkinson's disease and concluded he didn't need to undergo painful, expensive spine surgery. Walmart is self-insured, so it avoided paying about $30,000 for the unnecessary surgery. It also benefited from the patient's return to work.

3. Walmart's program reflects a larger trend in the U.S., where companies foot the bill for about 49 percent of healthcare outcomes.

More articles on spine:
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