Kroger To Add New Heart Surgery Benefit with Cleveland Clinic through Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Eligible plan members across the country have access to top-ranked heart surgery expertise

Media Contact

Tora Vinci 216.444.2412

Cleveland Clinic cardiac surgery expertise is now accessible at little or no cost to eligible Kroger Co. associates and dependents on the company-sponsored health care plan through the Cleveland Clinic Cardiac Concierge Program in partnership with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Ohio (Anthem) and its affiliated health plans.  The program provides access to complex cardiac surgery at the Cleveland Clinic Heart & Vascular Institute.

For 24 consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has ranked Cleveland Clinic’s heart program No. 1 in the nation for cardiovascular care.

“Access to high-quality healthcare has an enormous impact on one’s health and wellbeing,” said Dr. Lars Svensson, M.D., Ph.D., chairman of Cleveland Clinic’s Sydell and Arnold Miller Heart & Vascular Institute.  “We are proud to collaborate with Anthem and deliver our top-ranked heart surgery expertise to the employees and beneficiaries of Kroger, no matter where they live.” 

“We truly care about our associates’ overall well-being, and we’re excited to partner with Cleveland Clinic to offer a personalized, first-class experience at the nation’s leading cardiac center,” said Theresa Monti, Kroger’s vice president of total rewards. “We know health care can be complicated and our goal is to make the process easier. By establishing this partnership, we can provide the best care for our associates at affordable prices when they’re making meaningful decisions about their health.”

To help support the best care for associates, Kroger also pays 100 percent of travel and accommodation expenses for eligible plan participants and a companion to visit Cleveland Clinic. Anthem arranges travel from the associate’s home to the Cleveland Clinic and back again through Healthbase, a leading global medical tourism facilitator.

For the first time Cleveland Clinic is partnering directly with a health benefits company to create a more seamless process for their plan members.  This program falls under the umbrella of Cleveland Clinic’s Center of Excellence (COE) Program for cardiac surgery.  The program through Anthem is named Cleveland Clinic Cardiac Concierge Program.   Launching Jan. 1, 2019, plan members’ care is comprehensively managed by an Anthem Care Coordinator, allowing Kroger associates and dependents to have one point of contact from pre-surgical appointments through recovery at home.  Anthem works directly with the Kroger benefits team to ensure their associates maximize their COE benefit and have access to the appropriate level of care for their cardiac condition.  The Appropriateness of Care feature within the Cleveland Clinic Cardiac Concierge Program will allow Kroger associates and dependents access to a free second opinion for cardiac surgery from the number one heart center in the country.

“At Anthem, we are dedicated to partnering with care providers who can create innovative, meaningful and cost-effective health care solutions for consumers. Our collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic is an innovative approach aimed at making treatment for cardiac conditions as simple and supportive as possible for Kroger employees and their families, so their top priority can be focusing on their recovery and getting back to full health,” said Morgan Kendrick, president of Anthem’s national accounts business. “This program is built on creating a strong personal relationship, which starts when an Anthem care coordinator proactively reaches out to consumers who could potentially benefit from the Cardiac Concierge program.”

The Cleveland Clinic Cardiac Concierge Program is an innovative solution that provides Kroger plan members with high-quality healthcare while also managing costs. The Cleveland Clinic Cardiac Concierge Program helps keep costs down through better outcomes and bundled pricing – a single payment that covers a patient’s specific treatment over a period of time – while giving plan members greater access to the best possible care.

Cleveland Clinic: Tora Vinci, 216.444.2412
Anthem: Joyzelle Davis, 303.831.2005
Kroger: Kristal Howard, 513.762.1304

About Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 52,000 employees are more than 3,600 full-time salaried physicians and researchers and 14,000 nurses, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic’s health system includes a 165-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 16 regional hospitals (11 in Ohio, five in Florida), more than 150 northern Ohio outpatient locations – including 18 full-service family health centers and three health and wellness centers – and locations in Las Vegas, Nev.; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2017, there were 7.6 million outpatient visits, 229,000 hospital admissions and 207,000 surgical cases throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 185 countries. Visit us at Follow us at News and resources available at

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Ohio
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Community Insurance Company an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Ohio is available at Also, follow us on Twitter at and on Facebook at

About Kroger
At The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), we are dedicated to our Purpose: to Feed the Human Spirit™. We are nearly half a million associates who serve over nine million customers daily through a seamless digital shopping experience and 2,800 retail food stores under a variety of banner names, serving America through food inspiration and uplift, and creating #ZeroHungerZeroWaste communities by 2025. To learn more about us, visit our newsroom and investor relations site.