Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
) has announced its decision to join the Arkansas Payment
Improvement Initiative (APII) program through which the company
expects to provide health care at much reduced costs.
Unlike fee-for-service models, the APII program will reward
doctors and other health care providers for providing quality
service at a reasonable cost. By encouraging patients to follow
preventive measures at the ground level and providing follow-up
care after hospitalization, the likelihood of hospital
readmissions can be dramatically reduced, which results in better
health care and lower costs.
Keeping in mind the rising health care costs in the U.S.,
Walmart has stepped forward and committed $670,000 to create a
tracking system that would define the health care payment
structure and help underwrite an annual statewide tracking report
that will measure the effectiveness of the project. Besides
paying for the tracking system, the $670,000 commitment will help
distribute information about the program. Further, Walmart will
serve on the APII Employer Advisory Council for Arkansas.
Through this initiative, Walmart expects to build a new and
sustainable system over the long term to provide the best
possible health care for the people of Arkansans in the most cost
In another development, Walmart with its division Sam's Club
has launched a new contact lens program for 2013, where customers
can order contact lenses online or over the phone and get free
home delivery. In addition, Walmart and Sam's Club have lowered
prices on many top contact lenses to attract customers. The
company is also planning to launch its own private Equate brand
of contact lenses in February, thus providing more options to its
customers at low prices.
Walmart currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other stocks
in variety store sector, which are attractive for investment are
The Kroger Co.
Whole Foods Market Inc.
) both of which carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
KROGER CO (KR): Free Stock Analysis Report
WHOLE FOODS MKT (WFM): Free Stock Analysis
WAL-MART STORES (WMT): Free Stock Analysis
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