Walmart is ‘satisfied’ with in-store clinics’ progress

Discussion
May 12, 2015

Since its early days, Walmart has been a major transformative force in U.S. retailing. Today, the company can boast that more than 60 percent of Americans shop at its stores every month. Imagine what it would mean if the company was able to replicate its retail success in the field of basic healthcare.

While Walmart is in the early stages of rolling out its Care Clinics — it currently operates 17 at supercenters in Georgia, South Carolina and Texas — the numbers appear to be in the company’s favor.

For one, more of the shoppers in its stores have health insurance today than before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) went into the effect. According to a recent Rand Corp. study, 17 million Americans have been added to the rolls of the insured over the past year-and-a-half.

The retailer also has a built-in opportunity with more than 1.1 million people covered by its employee healthcare plans. Jennifer LaPerre, senior director with health & wellness for Walmart U.S., told The City Wire that that 22 percent of patients at the company’s Care Clinics have been employees. Employees pay $4 for a visit to Walmart’s clinics compared to $40 for everyone else.

Walmart Care Clinic

Source: walmart.com

Do you think Walmart has the opportunity to transform the delivery of basic healthcare services in the U.S.? Will Care Clinics become commonplace in Walmart Supercenters over the next decade?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"I think some things are out of the hands of — dare I say it — even Walmart. Yes, the ACA has, in one sense, widened the pool of insured Americans but it has also given huge power to "Big Pharma" and insurers to dictate the terms of customer/patient engagement."
"By the sheer number of stores in the U.S. and structurally lower fees, Walmart has a unique opportunity to transform basic healthcare delivery to a majority of the U.S. population."
"This is a huge opportunity and a huge responsibility for Walmart. Providing affordable, trustworthy care would go a long way to not only repairing a shaky image, but keeping customers loyal and healthy enough to keep shopping."

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9 Comments on "Walmart is ‘satisfied’ with in-store clinics’ progress"


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Ryan Mathews
Guest
7 years 15 days ago

I think some things are out of the hands of — dare I say it — even Walmart.

Yes, the ACA has, in one sense, widened the pool of insured Americans but it has also given huge power to “Big Pharma” and insurers to dictate the terms of customer/patient engagement.

Many retailers today find themselves pressured by the New Medical Order on a variety of fronts including accesses to drugs and directives on pharmacy hours of operation and even pharmacists’ pay scales in ways that would have been all but unthinkable in a pre-ACA world.

So yes Walmart has an opportunity here, but whether there is sufficient profit in that opportunity remains to be seen.

Camille P. Schuster, Ph.D.
Guest
7 years 15 days ago

Walmart has the scale and consumer traffic to be a major force in any industry relevant to their consumers. If Walmart can manage the consumer needs, regulations and service delivery in an efficient manner that provides consumer value, they could become a major player in the marketplace. Those are some big “ifs” but I would not count them out yet.

Mohamed Amer
Guest
Mohamed Amer
7 years 15 days ago

By the sheer number of stores in the U.S. and structurally lower fees, Walmart has a unique opportunity to transform basic healthcare delivery to a majority of the U.S. population.

A Care Clinic can address many of today’s basic healthcare needs with easy access and at much lower costs. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Care Clinics become common and popular fixtures in Walmart Supercenters in the coming years. An added bonus is the positive impact that they can have in shifting some of the healthcare spending to Walmart purchases.

Zel Bianco
Guest
7 years 15 days ago

This is a huge opportunity and a huge responsibility for Walmart. Providing affordable, trustworthy care would go a long way to not only repairing a shaky image, but keeping customers loyal and healthy enough to keep shopping.

Joan Treistman
Guest
7 years 15 days ago

It could very well be that Walmart is in lockstep with a larger transformation, the advent of urgent care facilities such as CityMD (available 365 days a year) along with Walgreens’ Walk-in Clinics.

As immediate healthcare attention proliferates Walmart will have the brand name to attract patients. Of course Walmart’s hours may be different from those of urgent care, but I see it as part of the paradigm shift in consumers’ perspective on how to satisfy their immediate and long-term healthcare needs.

Roger Saunders
Guest
7 years 15 days ago
Walmart is in a sweet spot to capitalize on basic healthcare services, in terms of clinics, healthcare product sales and quality image points in the marketplace. CVS and Walgreens are certainly not going to roll over in this arena, as they are rapidly developing their clinics, and at this point CVS is mentioned at nearly twice the rate as Walmart in the Prosper Monthly Consumer Survey by respondents who choose that destination as the place they use MOST often for prescription drugs. With more families having health insurance, all boats have an opportunity to rise. To be sure, CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart have all shown that they have grown share of mind among consumers by at least 100 basis points from April 2008 to April 2015. With the consumer in charge of their healthcare, fewer adults are responding “No Preference” for the choice of destination for their prescription drugs. In April 2008, 32.6 percent of respondents said they had “No Preference.” This April, that figure had dropped to 20.6% percent. The size of the Walmart… Read more »
Anne Howe
Guest
7 years 15 days ago

Walmart has the access and logistics system built. They can hire and retain the business acumen to be in the delivery of health care business. What Walmart has to be careful about is the one-to-one relationship with the consumer at the point of delivery. The word CARE needs to front and center and not only seen but felt by the customer they serve.

That’s the hard part. Walmart will need to work with human service providers who get it, and can hire, train and monitor the delivery at scale.

Jane Sarasohn-Kahn
Guest
7 years 15 days ago

Yes. Walmart is already a major force for primary care, pharmacy and pharmacist medication management services, and moving toward healthier foods in the rest of the store. Retail health is growing fast, as more consumers enroll in high-deductible health plans. Walmart will grow its footprint and presence in peoples’ health-lives, especially important in under-served areas where there are primary care shortages.

t s
Guest
t s
6 years 7 months ago

Walmart has a unique opportunity to be a leader in the delivery of healthcare through its care clinics, especially from an angle of price transparency of its various services offered.
It needs to change its game from “test mode” to “action mode” and scale up fast to bring more customers into its stores.

It needs to streamline layers of bureaucracy in its organization in order for that to happen as decisions are not made fast enough and opportunities are missed. Because of slow decision making by the leaders and lack of visionary leaders at different levels in the organization, it is holding its potential back and its future growth remains at stake!

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"I think some things are out of the hands of — dare I say it — even Walmart. Yes, the ACA has, in one sense, widened the pool of insured Americans but it has also given huge power to "Big Pharma" and insurers to dictate the terms of customer/patient engagement."
"By the sheer number of stores in the U.S. and structurally lower fees, Walmart has a unique opportunity to transform basic healthcare delivery to a majority of the U.S. population."
"This is a huge opportunity and a huge responsibility for Walmart. Providing affordable, trustworthy care would go a long way to not only repairing a shaky image, but keeping customers loyal and healthy enough to keep shopping."

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