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DANVILLE, Pa. – A pair of Geisinger physician leaders are among the authors of a new article published by the Harvard Business Review entitled “Why GE, Boeing, Lowe’s, and Walmart Are Directly Buying Health Care for Employees.”

Jaewon Ryu, M.D., Geisinger executive vice president and chief medical officer; and Jonathan Slotkin, M.D., director of spinal surgery for Geisinger’s Neuroscience Institute and medical director of Geisinger in Motion; joined Olivia Ross, associate director of the Employers Centers of Excellence Network at the Pacific Business Group on Health; and M. Ruth Coleman, BSN, founder and chief executive officer of Health Design Plus; as authors. 

The article details development of bundled payments in U.S. healthcare and how large employers are now directly purchasing bundled care for their employees through selected providers. Lowe’s, Walmart, McKesson and JetBlue Airways have recently partnered with the the Pacific Business Group on Health and Health Design Plus to launch the Employers Centers of Excellence Network (ECEN). It helps employers identify quality providers and negotiate bundled payments.

The network provides employees of participating companies with 100 percent coverage for all travel and medical expenses at carefully selected healthcare systems. Patients pay no out-of-pocket costs. 

The article reports that the ECEN program has led to lower patient out-of-pocket costs and excellent patient satisfaction. The average Lowe’s associate who has joint replacement surgery performed by one of the network centers saves approximately $3,300 in copayments and other fees as compared to those patients who get the same care under traditional insurance. Twelve-month analysis also found that 100 percent of Lowe’s joint surgery patients reported that they would refer co-workers or family to the program for a similar surgery. 

Geisinger Health System began partnering with Walmart around cardiac surgery in 2012, and joined ECEN for spinal surgery in 2015. Fewer than 5 percent of healthcare systems initially identified for participation in ECEN meet all of the quality requirements for consideration. In 2016, Geisinger also began providing destination care for bariatric surgery patients.

The authors conclude that employer purchased bundled payment innovations continue to expand and prepared healthcare systems are pursuing these relationships.


About Geisinger
One of the nation’s most innovative health services organizations, Geisinger serves more than 1.5 million patients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The system includes 13 hospital campuses, a nearly 600,000-member health plan, two research centers and the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. Geisinger is known for its focus on caring and innovative programs including the ProvenCare® best-practice approach to maximize quality, safety and value; ProvenHealth Navigator® advanced medical home; Springboard Health® population health program to improve the health of an entire community; ProvenExperience™ to provide refunds to patients unhappy with their care experience; and Geisinger’s MyCode® Community Health Initiative, the largest healthcare system-based precision health project in the world. With more than 215,000 volunteer participants enrolled, MyCode is conducting extensive research and returning medically actionable results to participants. A physician-led organization, with approximately 32,000 employees and more than 1,800 employed physicians, Geisinger leverages an estimated $12.7 billion positive annual impact on the Pennsylvania and New Jersey economies. Repeatedly recognized nationally for integration, quality and service, Geisinger has a long-standing commitment to patient care, medical education, research and community service. For more information, visit, or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Dr. Jaewon Ryu
Dr. Jaewon Ryu
Dr. Jonathan Slotkin
Director of Spinal Surgery for Geisinger’s Neuroscience Institute and Medical Director of Geisinger in Motion Dr. Jonathan Slotkin

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