Walmart and UnitedHealth Group type a partnership centered on bettering well being outcomes for seniors
UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) and retail giant Walmart (NYSE: WMT) are joining forces to provide comprehensive, value-based care dedicated to driving positive health outcomes for seniors.
“UnitedHealth Group and Walmart share a deep commitment to providing quality and affordable family medicine services that address all of a patient’s health needs in a way that is convenient for them and improve health outcomes,” said Andrew Witty, CEO of UnitedHealth Group, in a press release.
The partnership between UnitedHealth Group and Walmart marks the beginning of an initial 10-year, “far-reaching” collaboration between the two organizations.
Initially, the services will be offered at 15 Walmart Health locations in Florida and Georgia starting next year, with plans to expand into new regions over time. The partnership will include a co-branded Medicare Advantage plan in Georgia.
Ultimately, the goal of the partnership is to serve thousands of seniors and Medicare beneficiaries in value-based agreements through multiple Medicare Advantage plans.
To achieve this, UnitedHealth Group’s Optum will provide analytics and decision support tools that will assist Walmart Health’s clinicians. These capabilities are designed to accelerate Walmart Health Center’s collaborative, team-based delivery model while driving the transition to value-based care.
“We are on a journey to transform healthcare and connect more people to the right care, at the right time – at a reasonable price,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in a statement. “This collaboration puts the patient at the center of healthcare by leveraging the strength and complementary capabilities of our two companies to accelerate access to quality care.”
Another element of the partnership: Walmart Health Virtual Care will be on-network for commercial members under UnitedHealthcare’s Choice Plus PPO plan.
This partnership further positions Walmart in the same space as its big retail companies such as Walgreens Boots Alliance (Nasdaq: WBA), CVS Health Corp. (NYSE: CVS) and Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN), which have also taken steps to deliver more community-based health care for seniors.
Still, it wouldn’t be Walmart’s first time. The Company has partnered with Amedisys Inc. (Nasdaq: AMED) to expand access to home health care nationwide in 2019.
In the end, UnitedHealth Group announced it would acquire Lafayette, Louisiana-based LHC Group Inc. (Nasdaq: LHCG) for a price of $5.4 billion in March. The deal is valued at nearly $6 billion, including debt.
If this deal goes through, it’s a foot in the door for LHC Group — a home health, hospice, and home and community services company — to gain access to Walmart’s massive customer base. It could potentially be a billboard for all LHC Group services across the country.
As for Walmart’s partnership with UnitedHealth Group, both organizations ultimately want to expand the partnership and serve beneficiaries across commercial and Medicaid plans. This includes addressing the social determinants of health by increasing access to fresh food, over-the-counter and prescription medicines, and dental and eye care services.