Walmart U.S. is partnering with Mercy Hospital Springfield and five other hospitals in the country as it announces its new “Centers of Excellence,” according to a statement from Mercy.
The Centers of Excellence program offers no-cost heart, spine and transplant surgeries for Walmart employees and their covered dependents enrolled in the company’s medical plans. In addition, Walmart will pay for travel, lodging and food for the patient and a caregiver.
Mercy Hospital Springfield has been chosen to provide spine care for Walmart associates. It joins two other facilities, Scott and White in Texas and Virginia Mason in Washington state. Mercy Hospital Springfield will treat Walmart employees who live in the Midwest and eastern United States. Walmart has also announced Centers of Excellence for heart surgeries and transplants. Other Centers of Excellence are the Cleveland Clinic, Geisinger Medical Center and the Mayo Clinic.
“We are excited that Walmart has chosen Mercy as a Center of Excellence,” said Scott Street, president of Mercy Northwest Arkansas. “Walmart is a significant employer in our region. We are pleased that our sister community, Mercy Springfield, can serve our community’s Walmart associates with highly complex procedures.”
Sally Welborn, senior vice president of global benefits at Walmart, said “extensive” time was used to make the hospital selections.
“Through these hospitals, our associates will have far less 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,” Welborn noted in the statement.
Mercy will provide procedures like cervical and lumbar spinal fusion, total disk arthroplasty, spine surgery revisions and other complex spine procedures.
Five neurosurgeons, two orthopedic spine specialists, four pain management doctors and two spine physiatrists work at Mercy Hospital Springfield.