Walmart to cover breast, lung or colorectal cancers under its Centers of Excellence program
BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart on Tuesday announced it is expanding its Centers of Excellence program.
Effective Jan. 1, 2015, Walmart associates and family members enrolled in the company’s health reimbursement account plans or health savings account plan who are diagnosed with breast, lung or colorectal cancer can obtain a review of their medical records by Mayo Clinic, and when recommended, receive care covered at 100% for on-site visits at Mayo Clinic Cancer Center locations in Rochester, Minn., Jacksonville, Fla., or Phoenix.
“We are proud to expand our Centers of Excellence with Mayo Clinic to help ensure that our associates and their covered family members who are diagnosed with cancer receive the best care,” said Sally Welborn, SVP global benefits at Walmart. “The three cancers covered under our program are among the most prevalent experienced by associates on our healthcare plans.”
"We are pleased that Walmart approached us to help its associates diagnosed with breast, colon and lung cancer,” said Jan Buckner, deputy director for practice at Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. “Our coordinated approach to cancer care offers patients the latest advances in treatment in a compassionate and caring environment.”
Walmart’s Centers of Excellence cancer program will provide a review of an associate’s medical record, or their covered family member’s medical record, by Mayo Clinic oncologists following a diagnosis of breast, lung or colorectal cancer. The review will determine if they would benefit from an on-site visit at a Mayo Clinic location. On-site visits will be covered at 100% and will include recommended treatment — such as chemotherapy, radiation or surgery — without deductible or co-insurance, plus travel expenses for the patient and a caregiver.
The National Cancer Institute reports that breast cancer is the most common type of cancer, with about 235,000 new cases expected in the United States in 2014. Lung cancer, with more than 224,000 cases expected this year, and colorectal cancer, with a projected 136,000 new cases in 2014, also rank among the most common cancers in the United States.
Walmart launched its first-of-a-kind Centers of Excellence program in January 2013, which focused on select spine and cardiac procedures. In 2014, Walmart partnered with the Pacific Business Group on Health to extend the Centers of Excellence program to include knee and hip replacement procedures. Walmart first partnered with Mayo Clinic in 1997 for associates in need of organ transplants.