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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
Geisinger is an integrated health services organization widely recognized for its innovative use of the electronic health record and the development of innovative care delivery models such as ProvenHealth Navigator®, ProvenCare® and ProvenExperience®. As one of the nation’s largest health service organizations, Geisinger serves more than 3 million residents throughout 45 counties in central, south-central and northeast Pennsylvania, and also in southern New Jersey at AtlantiCare, a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient. In 2017, the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine and Geisinger Jersey Shore Hospital became the newest members of the Geisinger Family. The physician-led system is comprised of approximately 30,000 employees, including nearly 1,600 employed physicians, 13 hospital campuses, two research centers, and a 583,000-member health plan, all of which leverage an estimated $12.7 billion positive impact on the Pennsylvania and New Jersey economies. Geisinger has repeatedly garnered national accolades for integration, quality and service. In addition to fulfilling its patient care mission, Geisinger has a long-standing commitment to medical education, research and community service. For more information, visit, or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Dr. Jaewon Ryu
Geisinger Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer 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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