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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 committed to making better health easier for the more than 1 million people it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 10 hospital campuses, a health plan with more than half a million members, a research institute and the Geisinger College of Health Sciences, which includes schools of medicine, nursing and graduate education. With more than 25,000 employees and 1,700+ employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania by billions of dollars annually. Learn more at or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.


For media inquiries:

Marc Stempka

Media specialist
Geisinger Marketing & Communications

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