Attention Walmart shoppers . . . In the same week Walmart scaled back benefits for its part-time workers, the company sent out a 14-page request for information to potential partners interested in helping the retail behemoth become “the largest provider of primary healthcare services in the nation.” Kaiser Health News and NPR broke the story this week. Unable to resist the lure of 30 million new health care consumers that will be in the market due to health reform legislation, Walmart’s plan calls for expanding its current level of 140 in-store clinics to include health clinics throughout its 3500-store network. The company was very quick to backpedal once the story broke, however, stating the document was “overwritten and incorrect.” Follow TWIB on Twitter for more developments on this story.
Health reform updates: Though it looked like we were going to get some insight this week on when the Supreme Court would hear challenges to health reform, it now appears an order may be announced on Monday. In the meantime, a D.C. federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld the constitutionality of the individual mandate, scoring a win for the Obama administration. Also this week, 11 health insurers doing business in New York were ordered to refund $114.5 million to policyholders in accordance with the state’s MLR requirements.