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Walmart expands health benefits to cover heart and spine surgeries with no out-of-pocket costs


Bentonville, Ark. -- Walmart is expanding its Centers of Excellence program to offer its associates health care with no out-of-pocket cost for heart, spine, and transplant surgeries at six of the nation’s leading hospital and health systems.

"We devoted extensive time developing Centers of Excellence in order to improve the quality of care our associates' receive," said Sally Welborn, senior VP of global benefits at Walmart. "We have identified six renowned health care systems that meet the highest quality standards for heart, spine and transplant surgery. Through these hospital systems, our associates will have no out-of-pocket expenses and a greater peace of mind knowing they are receiving exceptional care from a facility that specializes in the procedure they require. This is the first time a retailer has offered a comprehensive, nationwide program for heart, spine and transplant surgery."

The six designated health care organizations include the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland; Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pa.; Mayo Clinic sites in Rochester, Minn., Scottsdale/Phoenix, Ariz., and Jacksonville, Fla.; Mercy Hospital Springfield in Springfield, Mo; Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Temple, Texas; and Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, Wash.

The new Centers of Excellence program is being expanded from covering transplants, which began with the Mayo Clinic in 1996, to include treatment for certain heart and spine surgeries. Walmart's associates and their dependents who are enrolled in the company's medical plans will receive consultations and care covered at 100 percent without deductible or coinsurance, plus travel, lodging and food for the patient and a caregiver.

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