Sept. 30, 2020
Walmart is expanding its Walmart Health business, according to an article posted to Walmart’s corporate web site by Lori Flees, senior vice-president and chief operating officer, Walmart U.S. Health & Wellness.
“One year ago, we opened the first Walmart Health in Dallas, Georgia, with a goal of becoming America’s neighborhood health destination. We recognized that Dallas, like so many communities across the country, was struggling to meet all the community’s healthcare needs. And with the size and strength of Walmart, we knew we could make a difference by providing quality, preventive health services at affordable, transparent prices for all who need it – regardless of insurance status,” writes Flees. “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. The past few months in particular have exposed the vulnerabilities of our healthcare system and left many without access to adequate health resources.”
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In response to high demand, notes Flees, the company is opening more locations. There are currently six Walmart Health locations open with five in Georgia, including a recent opening in Cartersville, and one in Arkansas. Flees says the company plans to open seven more locations in Georgia by end of the fiscal year and two in the Chicago area this fall. Walmart also is planning to open seven Walmart Health locations in the Jacksonville market in 2021, with at least one opening in early 2021.
In addition, Flees points out that Walmart is beginning conversations about new locations in the Orlando and Tampa markets. “Our new health centers will be in communities in need of affordable, accessible preventive care, which we will help deliver through Walmart Health,” she writes.
Flees explains that the new locations will follow the model set by previous successful locations, but will build on what Walmart has learned works.
Patients and clinicians alike approve of the Walmart Health model. “Walmart Health is generating strong patient satisfaction for the price, quality and convenience of care we offer. Meanwhile, our clinicians report satisfaction with the integrated care model and the ability to address the diverse health needs of their communities.”
There’s a clear need for convenient, quality, affordable healthcare. “We continue to see an increase in visits, with more than 50 percent booked by returning patients. And, 96 percent of patients report that they “felt cared for” and had their health needs met during their visits to Walmart Health.”
The pricing and convenience of Walmart Health is making a difference. “Walmart Health has low, transparent pricing that makes receiving care affordable, regardless of insurance status. Customers are also responding favorably to the convenience of Walmart Health, which provides one central location for primary and urgent care, labs, x-ray and diagnostics, counseling, dental, optical and hearing services with hours in the evening and on weekends. We regularly have customers tell us they had “no idea healthcare could be so affordable,” and they really like the convenience of ‘getting all my care in one visit, so I only have to miss work one time.'”
Patients need access to a full range of healthcare services. “Half of our patient visit volume is for primary care, on average, while the other half is for specialty care such as optometry, dental and behavioral health needs. We recognize the importance of addressing the full spectrum of healthcare needs to increase overall well-being.”
Primary care visits are starting to transition to chronic care management, as patients embrace preventive care. “Our longest-standing Walmart Health locations are seeing the largest shifts towards chronic care management and continuity of care, as the patient population responds to the quality and convenient care offered at Walmart Health. Our goal is to help patients proactively manage their health through preventive care, and we’re pleased with the response so far.”