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Kroger partners with hospital to offer employees joint and spine surgeries

Fixed-price procedures available to 90,000 employees nationwide

The Kroger Co. has teamed with The Christ Hospital Health Network’s Center of Excellence (COE) program for its employees’ total hip and total knee replacement and spine surgery benefits. The COE program allows employers to contract directly with the Cincinnati-based hospital for specific procedures at a fixed price.

“Kroger is excited to partner with The Christ Hospital to provide the best care for our associates at affordable prices,” said Theresa Monti, vice president of Total Rewards for Cincinnati-based Kroger. “We know healthcare can be complicated and our goal is to make the process easy for our associates. By establishing this partnership, we can ensure the highest-quality providers are available when associates are making decisions about their health.”

According to a report in the Cincinnati Business Courier, Kroger is the largest employer in the Greater Cincinnati Region, with a local workforce of more than 21,000. The chain has more than 440,000 employees nationwide, and about 90,000 of those who are eligible for the retailer’s health plan could be offered the option of having the surgery done in Cincinnati.

According to The Christ Hospital officials, Kroger employees on the company-sponsored healthcare plan will be guided through the joint and spine care process by a nurse navigator who will help them choose a physician; coordinate medical care from diagnosis to recovery; provide information about the procedure; and provide education on everything from the day of surgery to discharge and beyond.

“We are honored to partner with Kroger through our Center of Excellence program and look forward to providing their employees with the highest-quality joint replacement and spine care,” said Herb Caillouet, executive director of The Christ Hospital Joint & Spine Center. “With the development of the Joint & Spine Center, we’re really transformed orthopedic and spine care in the region. Bringing these unique bundled care programs to employers allows us to take the next step in the evolution of healthcare, providing exceptional value in addition to exceptional clinical care.”

Earlier this month, The Christ Hospital Health Network was named one of the nation’s Top 100 hospitals with great Neurosurgery and Spine programs by Beck’s Healthcare. Hospitals included on the list have extensive neuroscience and spine programs, providing treatment and cutting-edge research into neurosurgical disorders. Hospitals and health systems featured have earned top honors for medical excellence, outcomes and patient experience in their spine and brain surgery departments.

The Christ Hospital’s Joint & Spine Center is the only facility in the Greater Cincinnati Region and one of only a few in the country dedicated to advanced treatment of spine and joint conditions. 

The Christ Hospital Health Network is in discussion with a number of large national employers with self-funded health plans, and has emerged as a national leader in designing, implementing and managing bundled medical services through COE agreements. The Christ Hospital currently offers COE programs for joint and spine care, women’s care and cardiology.

In other Kroger news, UC Health of Cincinnati is offering a “Screen & Go” series of mobile mammography screening opportunities at Kroger’s The Little Clinic locations in the Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and Dayton, Ohio, regions. The screenings are offered on the second Tuesday of each month through January 8, 2019. 

Patients can schedule a 15-minute mammogram on board the UC Health mobile mammography van when it makes a stop each month at local Kroger clinic locations. The state-of-the-art vehicle is equipped with the latest breast imaging technology, including 3D breast imaging, which improves screening accuracy.

The van is staffed by UC Health certified mammography technicians and all images are read by UC Health radiology, the region’s only team of dedicated breast imaging physicians.

“We are excited to offer these screening events each month throughout the year,” said Lawrence Sobel, M.D., assistant professor of radiology with the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. “This is another opportunity for UC Health and The Little Clinic to work together to help the communities we serve live healthier lives.” 

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