New Book Features Walmart’s History in Healthcare – From $4 Prescriptions to Today’s Walmart Health ‘Super Centers’

Walmart’s three-decade history in healthcare from Sam Walton’s vision to control costs to today’s doctor-staffed Walmart Health “super centers” are featured in a new book: “Walmart’s Second Opinion: How a Retail Giant Is Bringing Cost Transparency and Better Quality to Healthcare, ” published by Validation Institute

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As retailers rush to fill their stores with medical services, Walmart’s three-decade history in healthcare from Sam Walton’s vision to control costs to today’s doctor-staffed Walmart Health “super centers” are featured in a new book: “Walmart’s Second Opinion.”

Published by Validation Institute, “Walmart’s Second Opinion: How a Retail Giant is Bringing Cost Transparency and Better Quality to Healthcare,” explores the pivotal moments and strategies that have enabled Walmart to redefine the retailing of healthcare, starting with the Walmart founder’s desire to solve the company’s escalating healthcare costs while striving to enhance the quality of care for employees.

“Though retailers and others are grabbing a lot of attention spending billions of dollars in recent years to enter the prescription drug and primary care business, the reality is that Walmart has been an innovator and disruptor in the healthcare business for more than 30 years,” says Vidar J. Jorgensen, Chairman of Validation Institute. “This book outlines not only Walmart’s history as a provider and payer of healthcare services, but the kind of progress Sam Walton wanted to see when he approached Tom Emerick in 1991 for ideas on how to control costs while improving quality for employees.”

Mr. Emerick will be inducted into the Validation Institute Hall of Fame this Tuesday, June 20, at The Healthcare Innovation Congress (thINc360) in Washington, D.C. for his work in developing the Walmart Centers of Excellence program that enables Walmart employees and a partner to go to the best health care providers in the US at no cost to the employee.

Though Walmart is best known for its prowess as a big box retailer offering everything from general merchandise to groceries, its healthcare services and benefits for employees have become models and copied across the country. The book outlines how Walmart partnered with “Centers of Excellence” such as the Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, and Geisinger Health System more than 20 years ago to ensure that employees received high quality medical care treatment that was done right the first time. Such covered services — ranging from heart and spine surgery to cancer and fertility care — were good for the worker, but were also beneficial for Walmart because it assured that the employee would receive the highest quality healthcare and return to the workforce more quickly.

These days, Walmart is expanding mental health services for employees and customers while adding behavioral care to the dental services and outpatient primary care at its Walmart Health brand centers that treat consumers across the country. Such facilities are projected to double by the end of 2024.

About the Authors
The book is written by Forbes senior contributor and national healthcare writer Bruce Japsen, who has followed Walmart and the business of healthcare for 30 years, and award-winning medical science writer and market analyst Malorye Allison Branca, who has been reporting on healthcare topics for over 20 years.

About Validation Institute
Validation Institute provides unbiased, data-driven insights on health care solutions and services by validating performance claims made by solutions providers and educating purchasers to drive transparency in the marketplace and maximize cost-savings.

Press Contact:
Reena Joseph
Director, Marketing and Partnerships
Validation Institute


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