The largest retailer of the world Walmart has just opened up a new clinic called Walmart Health in Georgia which is being viewed as the a part of the efforts of the retailer to get deeper into the primary care and mental health market.
The company website was recently updated and a link to Walmart Health was added which described it as the company’s “newest location in Dallas, GA.”
The site “Walmarthealth.com” was also activated by the company which will allow patients to set up appointments. According to reports quoting information from people familiar with the matter, this concept is being tested by Walmart with the initial clinic and it could open more in the future.
Patients would be given access to comprehensive and low-cost primary care which would also include treatment for mental health issues, at the facility being launched in Dallas which would become operational starting next month. And in order to give some a sense of privacy for patients, this new clinic is located in a separate building just next door to a Walmart store.
Patients can available the first appointments starting from September 13, says the website of the company. The patient services that the company would offer would include primary care, dental, counseling, labs, X-rays and audiology, among other services. Reports also said that the clinic business of the company is being led by Sean Slovenski, who has been recruited by Walmart from Humana.
In the US market, Walmart is already one of the largest pharmacy companies and it already offers in-store sections for prescription drugs in almost all of its 4,700 locations all over the US. About 9 per cent or $36 billion of its total of almost $332 billion in US sales last fiscal year was accounted for by the health and wellness business which includes pharmacy, clinical and optical services, the company said.
This is the first time that the company is offering mental health services. It however had given a third-party behavioral health company, a space in one of its Texas stores on lease in 2018 due to an apparent shortage of professionals in the area. Reports said that the manner in which Walmart can have a larger impact in the sector was formed with the experience.
The news of the opening of the clinic was confirmed to the media by a Walmart spokesperson.
“Walmart is committed to making healthcare more affordable and accessible for customers in the communities we serve,” the representative said. “The new Walmart Health center in our Dallas, Georgia, store will provide low, transparent pricing for key health services for local customers. We look forward to sharing more details when the facility opens next month.”
While Walmart has been in sections of the health industry, the area of primary care is something new for the retailer and it would pit the company against a completely different type of companies such as those from large health systems and from emerging businesses such as One Medical, Circle Medical and Forward.
(Adapted from CNBC.com)