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Walmart Health clinics to expand in Georgia, Florida and Chicago

With more than 3,500 Walmart Supercenters in the U.S., it has the foundation, price model and recognizable name to disrupt the clinical care space.

One year after opening its first location, Walmart Health plans to expand its services to operate 22 facilities by the end of 2021, according to a blog post written by Lori Flees, senior vice president and chief operating officer at Walmart U.S. Health and Wellness.

It expects to open seven new locations in Georgia by the end of the fiscal year and two more in the Chicago area this fall. Seven locations are expected to be built in Jacksonville, Florida, with at least one set to open in early 2021, Flees said. The company has also begun the process of expanding into the Orlando and Tampa markets.

Walmart Health's care centers will be built in communities in need of affordable, accessible preventative care, according to Flees.

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To build the new locations, Walmart Health has partnered with BLOX, a maker of medical modules. Through the partnership, the location in Newnan, Georgia was built, which will serve as the prototype for future iterations.

WHAT'S THE IMPACT?

Walmart Health clinics offer primary and urgent care, counseling, dental, optometry and hearing services to those with or without insurance.

Prices at the flagship clinic range from $40 for an office visit to $60 for a new patient intake counseling visit. Adult teeth cleanings starting at $25.

With more than 3,500 Walmart Supercenters in the U.S., the company has the infrastructure, price structure and recognizable name to disrupt the primary care space.

Flees' blog post boasts of an increase in visits, saying more than 50% of appointments are booked by returning patients.

THE LARGER TREND

Walmart has been making moves into the healthcare space for some time now. In 2018, it remodeled 500 stores to include pharmacy areas with private consultation rooms. 

The first of its Walmart Health locations opened in Dallas, Georgia, last year, along with an online appointment booking platform. More recently, Walmart expanded its digital health foothold by acquiring CareZone's tech platform.

Walmart isn't alone in transforming from just a pharmacy retailer to a fully operating healthcare clinic. CVS' HealthHub announced plans to open another 1,500 locations by the end of 2021. Walgreens, in collaboration with VillageMD, announced its plan to open 500 to 700 full-service doctors' offices within its stores over the next five years.

ON THE RECORD

"Our experience this year has made two things clear: Walmart Health is having a real impact on increasing access to care in our communities, and there are more neighbors who need our help," Flees said in her post. "The past few months in particular have exposed the vulnerabilities of our healthcare system and left many without access to adequate health resources. We know our customers need us now more than ever, which is why we're announcing an expansion of Walmart Health today."

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