Walmart will help employees connect with local doctors in areas like primary care, cardiology and obstetrics.
The data analytics company Embold Health, will cull through vast amounts of data from public and private insurance plans to come up with recommended providers based on effectiveness and cost-efficiency.
Walmart will in turn use that data to curate a list for employees.
The program will cover U.S. Walmart and Sam’s Club workers in Orlando and Tampa Florida, the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area and Northwest Arkansas starting Jan. 1.
The goal is for the services to eventually be available to the 1 million Walmart and Sam’s Club workers and family members on the company’s health insurance program. The retailer also plans to share its practices with other companies.
The downside of the program is that employees will be faced with fewer doctor choices. Walmart says that workers can use doctors who are not on the company’s curated list but it will cost more.
Walmart executives say it’s hoping to remove a meaningful chunk of unnecessary health care cost for the company and its employees.
That can mean offering coverage that steers patients away from expensive hospitals for routine imaging exams or pushes them toward doctors that are considered higher quality.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.