The Walmart logo is displayed outside their store near Bloomsburg.
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Walmart and healthcare giant UnitedHealth Group plan to team up to provide preventive care for people 65 and older and virtual healthcare services for all age groups, the companies said on Wednesday.
The 10-year partnership represents Walmart’s latest push into health care and could help the retail giant better compete with CVS Health and Walgreens Boots Alliance.
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Walgreens last October invested $5.2 billion in primary-care provider VillageMD, which has more than 200 locations in 15 markets.
Walmart’s effort with UnitedHealth will target diseases common among older Americans, such as heart disease and diabetes.
When it begins in January, the collaboration is expected to initially provide healthcare to senior citizens at 15 Walmart Health locations in Georgia and Florida. The focus will be on value-based healthcare, a model in which hospitals and doctors’ offices are reimbursed for care provided through several Medicare Advantage plans.
Medicare Advantage is a Medicare-approved plan from a private company and an alternative to Original Medicare, the federal government’s health insurance plan for senior citizens.
The collaboration would initially round out coverage for members under Original Medicare.
Unlike the traditional fee-for-service model, in which health insurers pay doctors a fee for each service provided, value-based health care payments are linked to patient outcomes and health. The model generally provides preventive measures including diet guides, cancer screenings and frequent doctor visits.
“We expect to serve hundreds of thousands of seniors through this partnership,” said Dan Schumacher, UnitedHealth Group’s chief strategy and development officer.
Walmart’s executive vice president of health and wellness, Dr. “Our goal is to make[health care]accessible and keep it affordable by using these solutions, especially in these medically underserved communities,” said Cheryl Pegus.
Walmart already provides physicians, community-health workers, behavioral-health therapists and nurse practitioners to help serve seniors who are “already going to buy other products” at Walmart’s health facilities, he said. Told.
Walmart healthcare workers will be able to access UnitedHealth Group-owned healthcare company Optum, which provides providers with data analysis on patients. The collaboration also includes the expected launch in Georgia of a Medicare Advantage plan co-branded by Walmart and UnitedHealth Group.
Walmart and UnitedHealth Group partnered in January to provide free, at-home COVID-19 testing.