Emory Healthcare and Walmart announced a collaboration in a new Accountable Care Plan (ACP) that will serve Walmart associates in the Atlanta area last Thursday.

The plan aims to lower costs for patients while providing highly coordinated quality health care, according to an April 19 Emory News Center press release. Associates at 55 Walmart, Sam’s Club and Walmart Distribution Center locations will be able to use the Emory ACP as their primary health care plan.

Employees will be able to access free preventive care and the Emory Healthcare network of physicians throughout Metro Atlanta. Under the plan, associates will pay standard copayments for their primary care, specialist and urgent care visits, according to the press release. They will also be able to access Emory’s Orthopaedics and Spine Hospital and Orthopaedics and Spine Center through Emory Healthcare’s collaboration with the Walmart Centers of Excellence (COE) program.

Emory Healthcare’s contract with Walmart is value-based, meaning payment will be based off of value-based incomes such as patient health outcomes. Emory Healthcare currently has two other value-based contracts with other large payers to provide services. Emory Healthcare remains open to partnerships with other large employers, according to Corporate Director of Emory Healthcare Network Traci Galatas.

The collaboration is one of Emory Healthcare’s first direct-employer agreements, according to Galatas.

“We’re continuously looking at ways where we can involve our population [in our] health programs … so we get really excited when there’s an employer who recognizes that and encourages the development of health systems that can effectively manage populations,” Galatas said.

Galatas believes this effort will benefit both partners.

“It’s really an opportunity [for Emory Healthcare] to be innovative with a large employer,” Galatas said. “We’re able to refine our programs to [ask ourselves,] ‘How can we meet the needs of Walmart while also improving the care of the patients that we treat?’ ”

Through the collaboration, Galatas said Emory Healthcare hopes to improve coordinated care and patient engagement with their providers. She said that they hope to help employees become more engaged and aware of the resources available to them. Patients often have multiple chronic conditions that go unmanaged throughout the course of their lives, according to Galatas.

“It’s important to get [patients] engaged and understand why they need to take their medicine, why they need to go to their primary care physician, what services are available to them,” Galatas said.

Correction (4/25/18 at 12:35 p.m.): A previous version of this article mislabeled Traci Galatas’ title as director of market research and medical economics. The article has been update to reflect that, in fact, Galatas’ title is corporate director of Emory Healthcare Network.

Correction (4/25/18 at 11:48 a.m.): A previous version of this article indicated that it was written by Madison Bober. The article has been update to reflect that, in fact, the article was written by Cecillia Bae.