Walmart is not famous for offering only the finest of everything for its employees. But earlier this year, the company began recommending that its employees use high-quality imaging centers to diagnose their health issues. Lower quality imaging was just not cost-effective for the discount big-box retailer.
Avoiding unnecessary surgeries and expenses
Analysis for the nation’s largest employer turned up surprising results.
The company realized it was paying for surgeries that, in the end, turned out not to help its employees. It wasn’t the fault of hospitals or surgeons at specialties hospitals like the Mayo Clinic. The trouble was that diagnostic MRIs and CT scans given for their employees had statistically high error rates.
Given that Walmart has 1.1 million employees in the United States, any meaningful error rate would translate into many unnecessary surgeries and enormous costs for the company, not to mention potential negative health effects for employees.
Only the best tests keep overall costs down
Walmart asked a New York City-based health analytics company to develop a list of only the most reliable medical imaging centers. The result was a list of 800 facilities providing the highest quality results and the lowest rate of errors.
The move reflects a trend of large employers keeping a closer eye on high-quality medicine, finding that overall medical costs are lower when it’s done correctly the first time.
Now, Walmart appears to be breaking new ground as it focuses on achieving accuracy in diagnosis, funneling employees solely toward providers with the best track records instead of to those with the lowest up-front costs.
Comprehensive medical testing can save employer’s money
Neither employers nor employees want injured workers to cost the company more than necessary, but major employers like Walmart have decided that thinking ahead, from diagnosis to treatment, saves money, not to mention pain and suffering and the risk of complications.
Attorneys with extensive experience in workers’ compensation cases strongly urge employees with work-related injuries to consider demanding a diagnostic imagining more advanced than traditional X-rays. It might help you heal and get back to work faster, and it might save the employer money over the long-run.