Covera Health Announces Multi-Year Strategic Collaboration with Walmart to Confront Misdiagnoses in Radiology

NEW YORK--()--Covera Health today announced a multi-year, strategic collaboration with Walmart designed to improve the quality of healthcare for eligible associates and their dependents, by helping them avoid misguided and unnecessary treatment based on inaccurate radiology diagnoses.

For years, many patients and health insurers have falsely assumed that there is no variability in the quality of radiological care between providers; as a result, imaging centers are often selected based on price or convenience. However, recent research has revealed how dramatically the accuracy of radiology exams, and the resulting diagnoses patients receive, can vary from one provider to the next.

According to Ron Vianu, CEO of Covera Health, “Getting an accurate diagnosis remains one of medicine’s greatest unmet needs. Not only does our program identify those providers and centers who are outperforming, objectively measuring quality enables us to deliver actionable feedback to help all providers perform better. Collaborating with Walmart expands our radiology program to improve care for millions of patients nationwide, which is the goal behind everything we do.”

In a blinded study, 10 radiology centers performed the same low-back MRI on a single 63-year-old patient.1 All 10 returned different diagnoses that could have resulted in vastly different treatment plans. Given the foundational nature of radiology in healthcare today, such mistakes often lead to patient harm by delaying the start of effective treatment, or by causing patients to undergo the wrong surgical procedures, which can negatively impact quality of life and outcomes. Multiple, independent studies have confirmed the adverse consequences of misdiagnoses.2,3 The Walmart-Covera Health collaboration marks the first substantial effort to systematically address these challenges.

“The goal of our benefit plans is to provide our associates and their family members with access to high-quality health care to ensure they receive the right care at the right time,” said Lisa Woods, Sr. Director of Benefits Design and Strategy at Walmart U.S. “A quality MRI or CT scan can improve the accuracy of the diagnosis early in the care journey, helping create the correct treatment plan with the best opportunity for recovery.”

Walmart associates and dependents on the company’s health plan now have access to Covera Health’s innovative Radiology Centers of Excellence Program, which features three main components: a nationwide network of superior radiologists; ongoing quality assurance and monitoring, with actionable feedback for doctors; and improved health outcomes for patients.

Covera Health’s Radiology Network

Radiology providers and centers in Covera Health’s network have been statistically proven to deliver more accurate diagnoses on a consistent basis, based on over seven years worth of clinical data evaluated by Covera Health’s proprietary quality analytics. Patients are automatically directed to best-in-class care at these Radiology Centers of Excellence, which are located in all 50 states, including every major urban center and the majority of rural areas.

Ongoing Quality Assurance and Monitoring Program

Covera Health, in collaboration with leading academic radiology centers, directly partners with its Radiology Centers of Excellence in the form of ongoing monitoring of diagnostic accuracy. Findings are shared in the form of actionable clinical feedback to help providers further improve clinical quality and ensure that patients are connected with the right care from the start—thereby avoiding inappropriate, and potentially harmful, treatment pathways.

Improved Health Outcomes for Patients

In a preliminary evaluation of approximately 80,000 patients, Covera Health demonstrated that higher quality radiology resulted in improved health outcomes for those routed to its Centers of Excellence versus those who were not. Participants were more likely to receive correct care and return to work faster, while radiologists were able to demonstrate the value of their expertise, making Covera Health’s program attractive to patients, providers, and payers alike.

About Covera Health

Covera Health is leading a revolution in healthcare quality by partnering with doctors to better define, measure, and deliver quality care. The company leverages advanced data analytics to build programs for employers, health plans, and other healthcare entities that reduce misdiagnoses, improve patient outcomes, and reduce medical costs. Covera Health’s first solution, its innovative Radiology Centers of Excellence Program, operates in all 50 states and now covers over one million lives. For more information, please visit


1. Variability in diagnostic error rates of 10 MRI centers. Herzog et al. The Spine Journal 2017.

2. Based on an independent, prospective, randomized study involving ~80k patients undergoing advanced imaging, conducted by a Fortune 50 payer over 16 months. Data on file.

3. Based on a longitudinal claims analysis in a retrospective, statistically-controlled study involving 7,617 patients in 48 states who received musculoskeletal or spine diagnostic MRI exams. Data on file.


Lena Cheng, MD

Social Media Profiles


Lena Cheng, MD