Walmart Health will open five new locations in Florida, as the retailer continues to scale its “one-stop-shop” vision for healthcare offerings.
Walmart is opening two clinics in Jacksonville, two in Orlando and one in Tampa in the coming months, the company said Tuesday. The retail giant represents a growing number of non-traditional healthcare providers that seek to provide a more convenient and affordable experience through a mix of virtual and in-person care.
“The population growth is significant in Florida, where demand is outstripping the provider assets,” said Dr. David Carmouche, who recently left Ochsner Health as its president of its physician group to lead Walmart’s omnichannel care division. “We marry a mix of assets in nutrition, pharmacy and primary care to deliver on our vision to be a great place for all of a person’s healthcare needs.”
Florida is home to a growing Medicare Advantage market and many of its residents manage chronic diseases, Carmouche said.
Walmart’s clinics provide chronic disease management, urgent care and mental health counseling, along with dental, vision and hearing services. The locations also offer lab services, X-rays and diagnostics via a joint venture with Quest Diagnostics.
Patients pay a flat fee, regardless of insurance coverage, and can ask community health workers about insurance benefits or nutritionists about food as they shop for groceries.
Here are five things to know about Walmart Health’s expansion:
- Its Florida clinics will be the first to implement the electronic health record Epic. Walmart Health isn’t slowing the rollout of its clinics, but incrementally expanding into different markets as it customizes its offerings for the local population, executives said. “We have a set of assets that will allow us to approach markets uniquely based on their needs,” Carmouche said, noting that Walmart acquired telehealth provider MeMD, which will allow it to offer primary, urgent and behavioral care across the country. “Our services may evolve on the needs of the market, like if they prefer virtual or in-person encounters. Everything will be connected through a common EMR so the data is available regardless of how they enter the system.”
- Walmart Health is generating more revenue for the company. Its health division reported $42.84 billion in its U.S. net sales last year, which amounted to nearly 11% of its total revenue. Its health business was its fastest growing division in the fourth quarter. Walmart Health’s annual net sales were up 11% from 2021, when it comprised around 10% of the organization’s total U.S. sales.
- Walmart has partnered with the Elton John AIDS foundation to expand testing and Chicago-based HabitNu, which offers disease prevention training for Walmart’s community health workers.
- Nearly 4,000 Walmart locations are located within one or more underserved areas, as defined by the Health Resources and Services Administration. About half of Walmart Health patients are returning users. “To make healthcare more affordable and equitable at scale is hard to do inside a legacy healthcare system,” Carmouche said, adding that Walmart has more flexibility to pursue capitation and other alternative payment models. “We’re excited about our platform’s reach and that seems to resonate with the people we recruit. A lot of people are frustrated about where healthcare is, and are looking to non-traditional players.”
- Longtime legacy healthcare executives, like Carmouche, are joining companies like Walmart and Amazon, which is offering nationwide telehealth services and in-person care in select cities through employer health plans via Amazon Care. Walmart is leveraging their new hires to partner with health systems. In Atlanta, Georgia, for instance, Walmart has offered HIV-AIDS tests and referred patients to neighboring health systems. “For the services we do, we want to be an omnichannel, accessible site, but we truly want to make sure we are partnering so that people are getting the right care when they need with what they have in their community,” said Dr. Cheryl Pegus, executive vice president of health and wellness at Walmart.
Find out more about Walmart Health’s strategy by watching Modern Healthcare’s Check Up.