On Thursday, Walmart said they would commit $670,000 to underwrite the "effort to create a more patient-centered and cost efficient health payment system through the Arkansas Payment Improvement Initiative (APII)." They say this new program is the first of its kind in the United States.
"We have worked for the past two years to bring the public and private sectors together in order to
provide better health care in more cost-efficient ways," Governor Mike Beebe said in a press release. "It's critical that large, self-insured companies like Walmart be involved in this complex work that has the potential to serve as a model for the rest of the nation. With more than one million people on its health plan, Walmart's willingness to step forward and lead in this effort shows the company's continued pursuit of innovation and the initiative's potential for the future of health care."
The APII is still in the first phase of implementation and is designed to reward physicians, hospitals and other providers who give patients high-quality care at an appropriate cost.
The long-term goal, said the governor, is to "build a new and sustainable system that provides the best possible health care for Arkansans through team-based approaches and cost containment. For example, when primary care providers actively encourage patients to use preventive services, patients can manage chronic diseases and reduce future serious illnesses and costly treatments."