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Walmart sets goal of 28 new health centers with primary care and more

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Retail giant expanding into two new states, with additional growth in Texas.

Walmart will add at least 28 new health centers in four markets, for a total of at least 75 Walmart Health centers offering primary care by the end of 2024.

The Bentonville, Arkansas-based retail giant announced plans for new medical offices in Texas with growth into Missouri and Arizona in coming months. Walmart promised new, state-of-the-art facilities, about 5,750 square feet in size, inside Walmart Supercenters.

The range of services will include primary care, dental care, behavioral health, labs and x-ray, audiology, and Walmart Health Virtual Care telehealth services.

“We know the cost and convenience of health care remains a barrier for many Americans, which is why we decided to bring our one-stop model of healthcare to these communities,” said an announcement by David Carmouche, MD, senior vice president for Walmart’s Omnichannel Care program. “With 90% of the U.S. population located within 10 miles of a Walmart, Walmart Health is in a unique position to provide quality, affordable health and wellness services where our neighbors already live and shop.

“Our patients come to us to receive high quality care that works for their schedule – and within their budget,” Carmouche said. “And we hear from our providers that they enjoy the team-based approach to care that values all clinicians and enables them to practice at the very top of their license.”

Where they’re growing

Walmart Health opened its first center in 2019 and has grown to 32 centers. The next ones will open in four metropolitan areas in the first quarter of 2024:

  • 10 in Dallas, Texas
  • 10 in Houston, Texas
  • Six in Phoenix, Arizona
  • Four in Kansas City, Missouri

The company “will continue to grow and adapt at a responsible pace to better serve the communities where we live and work,” Carmouche’s announcement said.

The newest locations will be designed based on feedback from patients. For example, the layouts will be changed so patients spend more time with physicians. Technology will include Epic electronic health records across Walmart Health’s entire network.

Walmart Health encourages people to make appointments because walk-in availability is not guaranteed. The company offers “affordable, transparent cash pricing for key health center services for local customers, regardless of insurance status,” for primary care, labs, x-ray, dental, optical, and hearing exams. Walmart Health will provide an estimated cost for visits during appointment registration.

The company is aiming squarely at primary care, with those services listed including annual checkups, Medicare Wellness visits, sports, school, and pre-employment physicals, chronic care management, TB screenings, birth control, and hypertension management.

Tackling chronic conditions

The announcement came just two days after Walmart announced a new venture with CareSource, a nonprofit managed care organization based in Dayton, Ohio. Founded in 1989, CareSource now has more than 2 million members across six states, with 4,500 workers, according to the company.

The two have a three-year deal to address racial health inequities through “evidence-based solutions to improve health outcomes in under-resourced and underserved communities where racial health inequities are widespread.”

The partnership will begin in Ohio, focusing on heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and hypertension. Walmart’s in-store community health workers will assist in health risk and social needs assessments, and qualifying patients will receive monthly funds for food, a free Walmart+ membership, and access to tele-nutrition services, and may participate in CareSource Life Services programs.

New players in primary care

Walmart’s announcement also came days after online giant Amazon announced it completed its $3.9 billion acquisition of One Medical, with the goal of changing primary care.

Describing their offerings, Amazon and One Medical said they will offer round-the-clock access to primary care through the One Medical app, 24/7 video chats and easy in-app messaging, same-day and next-day in-office visits and availability where people work, live, and shop. One Medical said the company will have pediatricians and family care providers in a growing number of locations, and “highly engaged clinicians focused on meeting the whole needs of people.”

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