Walmart: Losing customers, but staff enjoy elite health coverage

What is the reasoning behind taking staff to the best hospitals for treatment while sales continue to fall?

What is the reasoning behind taking staff to the best hospitals for treatment while sales continue to fall?

Low-price supermarket Walmart's sales have slid in recent quarters. This month, Walmart reported that sales in the U.S. fell by 1.4 percent; the first drop after six straight gains. However, even as exerting pressure on stockists to reduce prices the company must offer has a measure of success, the same cannot be said for health insurance.

After being criticized for keeping healthcare costs as low as possible, Walmart found that per person, sufferers of chronic diseases did not require the most investment; instead, the highest healthcare costs were caused by a small number of employees with complicated issues.

Last October, Walmart gave employees who needed expensive surgeries the option to travel to the top specialist hospitals in the United States, all expenses paid. Cheap products in supermarkets is one thing, but by dealing directly with providers, cheap healthcare can be found at the most expensive hospitals.

When corporations consistently send their staff to particular health centers, the institutions can offer good prices in return. The reasoning is thus: If the firm can find a way to offer high-quality treatment and care for these workers adequately, then long-term, spending may be cut and wasted time and money avoided.

Walmart is one of many businesses that takes advantage of price incentives to offer better quality care to its workers. The National Business Group on Health says that ten percent of businesses currently use the same model, whereas another 19 percent are considering it next year.

Read More: National Journal

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This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com