Newswise — CLEVELAND – University Hospitals (UH) has announced that Walmart selected UH Cleveland Medical Center as a national Center of Excellence to provide joint-replacement surgery and orthopedic care for Walmart employees and their families.

As a Center of Excellence, UH Cleveland Medical Center serves as a surgical care site for Walmart’s eligible health plan members. Walmart chooses Centers of Excellence through a highly selective process. Selected hospitals must demonstrate the ability to provide excellent care, a dedication to addressing the root-cause of a patient’s condition, and an outstanding patient experience at a great value to both the patient and the patient’s employer-sponsored health benefit plan. 

“Our associates are very important to us and the Centers of Excellence program is one way we help ensure they and their families receive the highest-level of quality care available,” said Lisa Woods, senior director of U.S. benefits at Walmart. “University Hospitals’ dedication to patient-centered, evidence-based medicine makes them a great addition to our Centers of Excellence program.”

Eligible Walmart medical plan enrollees who receive joint-replacement surgery services at UH Cleveland Medical Center will receive enhanced benefits, such as 100 percent coverage of all procedure costs, along with travel, lodging and an expense allowance for the patient and a caregiver.

“The partnership between UH and Walmart focuses on quality care and value for the patient,” said Tom Zenty, UH Chief Executive Officer. “It’s an example of a growing trend where large, self-insured companies are choosing to contract directly with providers to offer high-quality and cost-effective specialty care and treatment for their employees. I applaud Walmart for giving its employees access to the very best care while keeping affordability in mind.”

According to a recent study by employee benefit consulting firm Willis Towers Watson, 45 percent of large employers are offering employees access to a Center of Excellence, up from 37 percent in 2015, and another 32 percent are planning to do so by end of 2018.

“This collaborative partnership with Walmart illustrates one of the many ways UH advances the science of health and the art of compassion,” explained Daniel Simon, MD, President of UH Medical Centers and Chief Academic Officer. “UH has been at the forefront of orthopedic innovation and patient care for decades. As a Center of Excellence, we have the opportunity to deliver our advanced, highly skilled treatment options to Walmart employees and families across the nation.”

UH’s Center of Excellence care process includes a review of the patient’s medical records, a team evaluation process of evidence-based treatment protocols, the submission of a plan of care, patient and caregiver education on treatment expectations, excellent inpatient and outpatient care, management of the transition home and collaboration with the patient’s local physicians.

“By providing care navigators who aid our patient’s journey before, during and after surgery, we’re able to deliver compassion, efficiency and great value,” Dr. Simon added.

UH Cleveland Medical Center and UH Conneaut Medical Center also serve as joint-replacement centers of excellence for General Electric. UH is also a leader in the Medicare bundled-payment program that improves quality and safety while effectively managing costs.

With this latest agreement with UH, Walmart now has 11 Centers of Excellence across the country where its employees and their families can receive joint replacement.


About Walmart

Headquartered in Bentonville, Ark., Walmart Inc. was founded by Sam Walton in 1962 and incorporated in October of 1969. It also owns and operates Sam's Club retail warehouses. Walmart operates over 11,700 stores under 65 banners in 28 countries and e-commerce websites. Walmart employs approximately 2.3 million associates around the world – 1.5 million in the U.S. alone.

About University Hospitals

Founded in 1866, University Hospitals serves the needs of patients through an integrated network of 18 hospitals, more than 50 health centers and outpatient facilities and 200 physician offices in 15 counties throughout northern Ohio. The system’s flagship academic medical center, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, located on a 35-acre campus in Cleveland’s University Circle, is affiliated with Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. The main campus also includes University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, ranked among the top children’s hospitals in the nation; University Hospitals MacDonald Women's Hospital, Ohio's only hospital for women; and University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center, part of the NCI-designated Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. UH is home to some of the most prestigious clinical and research programs in the nation, including cancer, pediatrics, women's health, orthopedics, radiology, neuroscience, cardiology and cardiovascular surgery, digestive health, transplantation and urology. UH Cleveland Medical Center is perennially among the highest performers in national ranking surveys, including “America’s Best Hospitals” from U.S. News & World Report. UH is also home to Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals – part of The Harrington Project for Discovery & Development. UH is one of the largest employers in Northeast Ohio with 28,000 physicians, nurses and employees. UH’s vision is “Advancing the science of health and the art of compassion,” and its mission: “To Heal. To Teach. To Discover.” For more information, go to