January 15, 2019

Podcast: Walmart’s Consumer Strategy

In this episode of the Oliver Wyman Health Podcast, Sam Glick, Partner in the Health & Life Sciences practice at Oliver Wyman, chats with Marcus Osborne, Walmart’s Vice President of Health Transformation, about consumer purchasing behavior.

Marcus Osborne @Walmart: “What a consumer just wants to know is, ‘Is this healthy or not?’”

For this episode and more, check out the Oliver Wyman Health Podcast page, featuring executive conversations on the business of transforming healthcare.

Walmart’s Findings on Healthcare Waste

Marcus says a third of what’s spent on healthcare is wasted, maybe not needed, and perhaps even harmful. “We’re spending 18 percent of national GDP on healthcare, which means 6 percent of our entire national GDP you could go out and set on fire,” he adds.

Marcus emphasizes some striking data points tied to healthcare waste from Walmart’s Centers of Excellence Program – Mayo Clinic:

  • 90 percent of C-sections and inductions are unnecessary
  • More than 80 percent of patients sent for a stent don’t need it
  • 10 percent of cancer diagnoses are false
  • 30 percent of people had a correct cancer diagnosis but the wrong treatment (for example, they are told they need six months of chemo when they only need six weeks, or chemo radiation and a drug when they only need a drug)
  • 20 percent of cancer patients undergo inadequate, inappropriate treatment

“We believe there have got to be providers at the local level who are high value. We should be steering our associates to use those providers. To the extent we can, we should be informing and educating our providers so we can start to up our game and have more providers be truly high value,” Marcus says.

Continue the story here.