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Oak Street Health opens three new clinics at Walmart supercenters in Texas

The clinics offer primary and urgent care services, as well as extended office hours for walk-ins, same-day appointments and scheduled appointments.

Mallory Hackett, Associate Editor

Oak Street Health has opened three new primary care centers at Walmart supercenters in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area, the company recently announced.

The Oak Street Health Community Clinics serve as a network of value-based primary care facilities for adults on Medicare, although patients of all ages are accepted.

The clinics offer primary and urgent care services, as well as extended office hours for walk-ins, same-day appointments and scheduled appointments.

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WHY THIS MATTERS

With its clinics, Walmart is competing against primary care providers and is also going head-to-head with insurers in partnering with Clover Health to offer Medicare Advantage plans in Georgia.

Walmart then launched Walmart Insurance Services, which offers a range of plan options, including Part D, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans, from a variety of insurers, such as Humana, UnitedHealthcare, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Amerigroup, Simply Health, Wellcare (Centene), Clover Health and Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

The new medical clinics are located in Arlington, Benbrook and Carrollton, Texas.

Oak Street Health now has eight centers across Texas, including one it opened in November at  Mesquite. It currently operates more than 70 centers across Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Indiana, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Tennessee, New York and Mississippi.

THE LARGER TREND

Walmart operates its own primary care clinics and has plans to expand its services to operate 22 facilities by the end of 2021. Walmart Health clinics offer primary and urgent care, counseling, dental, optometry and hearing services to those with or without insurance.

The retailer opened its first clinic last year in Dallas, Georgia.

Walmart made headlines this week after the Department of Justice charged it with unlawfully dispensing controlled substances, specifically opioids, from pharmacies it operates across the country and unlawfully distributing these drugs to its pharmacies throughout the height of the prescription opioid crisis.

If Walmart is found liable, it could face civil penalties of up to $67,627 for each unlawful prescription filled and $15,691 for each suspicious order not reported. 

ON THE RECORD

"This year, more than ever, it's crucial for people to have access to affordable, quality healthcare. We are proud to work with Walmart to extend the reach of our innovative primary care model in Dallas-Fort Worth, and are dedicated to improving health outcomes of the patients in the communities that we now serve," said Mike Pykosz, CEO of Oak Street Health. "We created Oak Street Health with a mission to rebuild healthcare as it should be, and our Community Clinics at Walmart supercenters help us reach more people to deliver on that mission."

Twitter: @HackettMallory
Email the writer: mhackett@himss.org