The state of Arkansas's health system transformation was given a significant financial boost from the state's largest company, Wal-Mart Stores, which committed to providing $670,000 to help underwrite the work of the Arkansas Health Care Payment Improvement Initiative.
But Arkansas Surgeon General Dr. Joe Thompson said the significance of the contribution stems from Wal-Mart's standing as the state's largest self-insured employer.
The initiative, Thompson said, is a multipayer effort and the intent is to make it all-payer—and this includes self-insured employers such as Wal-Mart. Thompson explained how Arkansas is part of the CMS' Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative, which has 500 practices across the nation serving as patient-centered medical homes. With those participating practices, the intent is to have 60% of their patients covered by a payer that is contributing a monthly per member care-management fee. That fee is used to cover expenses, such as staff salaries.