There is a Walmart about a mile from my house. Inside my Walmart is a pharmacy and Quest Diagnostics. I’ve used both at various times. A Walmart a few miles away has a low-cost veterinary clinic that I’ve used as well. Another location near me has an optometrist on site.
I just read that Walmart is in the primary care business as well. Indeed, Walmart plans to open 28 new health centers, nearly doubling its health care footprint to 75 clinics by 2025. Walmart Health claims affordable and transparent pricing, with or without insurance. I especially like that the clinics are welcoming of both insured and uninsured patients. The facilities are staffed by physicians, nurse practitioners and dentists at some locations. An article in Forbes claimed that Walmart is poised to become the largest primary care provider in the country.
Undoubtedly, Walmart is a force to be reckoned with in the healthcare sector, as it will only continue to grow in this space. With an incredible arsenal of resources, a clear vision for the road ahead, and a visionary leadership team, Walmart’s future in healthcare is remarkably promising.
Furthermore, beyond just leveraging its retail presence, Walmart’s track record of innovation provides it endless room to grow in various other healthcare verticals, including virtual care, telehealth, pharmacy services, and many more. Indeed, time will tell how the retail giant will expand its offerings in these respective spaces.
It shouldn’t come as such a surprise that Walmart has plans to expand farther into health care. Walmart was the first retail pharmacy to roll out $4 prescriptions. Walmart also began offering virtual care and telemedicine consultations in 2021. The giant retailer is in a unique position to provide care with more than 4,700 locations in the United States alone.
“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.”
I’ve always found it convenient when I’ve gone to Walmart for lab work. It’s only a mile away and parking is easy. Quest Diagnostics’ customers can wait inside a small storefront with a TV that lists the number of customers ahead of them and the estimated wait time. Customers can also choose to shop and receive a text message when it’s their turn. By contrast my wife’s doctor prefers Labcorp, the nearest location from my house is 12 miles away.
A few days ago I wrote about how Amazon wants to be your primary care provider. Now Walmart does as well. Also, CVS and Walgreens, among others. With all these traditional retailers getting into the primary care business, we can only hope some of them figure out a way to make it more convenient.