Anthem will partner with Walmart to deliver a new Medicaid programme
Anthem has announced its decision to partner with Walmart to advance the companies’ mutual goals to reduce healthcare costs and provide consumers with increased access to over-the counter (OTC) medicines and services.
Set to launch in 2019, the programme will enable consumers who are enrolled in Anthem’s affiliated Medicare Advantage (MA) plans to use OTC plan allowances to purchase OTC medications and health-related items, such as first aid supplies, support braces, and pain relievers at Walmart’s 4,700 stores and online.
MA has grown from $69.9bn in 2007 to $202.7bn in 2017, Healthcare Dive has reported.
The new collaboration is expected to improve access to these items while significantly reducing the out-of-pocket costs for those enrolled in Anthem’s affiliated MA plans.
“Creating a better healthcare future requires us to think differently about how we can develop innovative and meaningful healthcare solutions for consumers,” said Felicia Norwood, Executive Vice President and President, Government Business Division, Anthem.
“We are pleased to join with Walmart to create an initiative that combines Anthem’s deep understanding of the needs of senior consumers, with Walmart’s unwavering commitment to saving people money and developing a seamless shopping experience.
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“We believe that programmes like this can make a tremendous difference for healthcare consumers who often live on a fixed income or are managing chronic medical conditions.”
With more than 90% of Americans living within 10 miles of a Walmart store, this new initiative is expected to be important to older adults who seek more value for their money and a convenient shopping experience.
According to the Social Security Administration, nearly a quarter of married seniors and four out of 10 unmarried older adults rely on their Social Security benefit, which averages just over $1,400 a month, for at least 90% of their income.
The news follows on from Anthem’s ongoing discussions to acquire MA giant Humana, following Aetna’s withdrawal, whilst Walmart was set to acquire online pharmacy PillPack, but was piped to the post by Amazon who offered $1bn for the start-up.
Additionally, Walmart has recently revealed that it has won its blockchain patent for use within the use of storing medical records, which it submitted in December last year.
Check Point: Securing the future of enterprise IT
Cybersecurity solutions provider Check Point was founded in 1993 with a mission to secure ‘everything,’ and that includes the cloud. Conscious that nothing remains static in the digital world, the company prides itself on an ability to integrate new technology with its solutions. Across almost three decades in operation, Check Point, with its team of over 3,500 experts, has become adept at protecting networks, endpoints, mobile, IoT, and cloud.
“The pandemic has been somewhat of an accelerator in the evolution of cyber risk,” explains Erez Yarkoni, Global VP for Cloud Business. “We had remote workers and cloud adoption a long time beforehand, but now the volume and surface area is far greater.” Formerly a CIO for several big-name telcos before joining Check Point in 2019, Yarkoni considers the cloud to be “part of [his] heritage” and one of modern IT’s most valuable tools.
Check Point has three important ‘product families’, Quantum, CloudGuard, and Harmony, with each one providing another layer of holistic IT protection:
- Quantum: secures enterprise networks from sophisticated cyber attacks
- CloudGuard: acts as a scalable and unified cloud-native security platform for the protection of any cloud
- Harmony: protects remote users and devices from cyber threats that might compromise organisational data
However, more than just providing security, Yarkoni emphasises the need for software to be proactive and minimise the possibility of threats in the first instance. This is something Check Point assuredly delivers, “the industry recognises that preventing, not just detecting, is crucial. Check Point has one platform that gives customers the end-to-end cover they need; they don't have to go anywhere else. That level of threat prevention capability is core to our DNA and across all three product lines.”
In many ways, Check Point’s solutions’ capabilities have actually converged to meet the exact working requirements of contemporary enterprise IT. As more companies embark on their own digital transformation journeys in the wake of COVID-19, the inevitability of unforeseen threats increases, which also makes forming security-based partnerships essential. Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) sought out Check Point for this very reason when it was in the process of selecting Microsoft Azure as its cloud provider. “Let's be clear: Azure is a secure cloud, but when you operate in a cloud you need several layers of security and governance to prevent mistakes from becoming risks,” Yarkoni clarifies.
The partnership is a distinctly three-way split, with each bringing its own core expertise and competencies. More than that, Check Point, HOOPP and Microsoft are all invested in deepening their understanding of each other at an engineering and developmental level. “Both of our organisations (Check Point and Microsoft) are customer-obsessed: we look at the problem from the eyes of the customer and ask, ‘Are we creating value?’” That kind of focus is proving to be invaluable in the digital era, when the challenges and threats of tomorrow remain unpredictable. In this climate, only the best protected will survive and Check Point is standing by, ready to help.
“HOOPP is an amazing organisation,” concludes Yarkoni. “For us to be successful with a customer and be selected as a partner is actually a badge of honor. It says, ‘We passed a very intense and in-depth inspection by very smart people,’ and for me that’s the best thing about working with organisations like HOOPP.”