First glimpse into new ‘Walmart Health’ format

by Kim Souza (ksouza@talkbusiness.net) 9,470 views 

Walmart's new "Walmart Health" format will provide basic healthcare services including dental. The names of partner providers were not disclosed by the retail giant.

Walmart held a grand opening Friday (Sept. 13) for its new health format in Dallas, Ga. The new “Walmart Health” center is attached to a Supercenter as part of a major remodel.

By partnering with local providers, Walmart said the new health center will deliver services including primary care, labs, X-ray and EKG, counseling, dental, optical, hearing, community health (nutritional services, fitness) and health insurance education and enrollment. The facility is outside the store with a separate entrance for customers.

“The customer is at the heart of everything we do, and that focus is reflected in the new Walmart Health center. This state-of-the-art facility will provide quality, affordable and accessible healthcare for members of the Dallas, Georgia, community so they can get the right care at the right time, right in their hometown,” said Sean Slovenski, president of Walmart U.S. health and wellness.

Todd Harbaugh, executive vice president of Walmart Supercenters, said this week the retail giant believes there is adequate demand for low-cost healthcare services for the millions of consumers who have high deductible insurance plans. He said the Walmart model should appeal to those who pay cash for their basic healthcare needs.

Walmart said the new health center format will offer low, transparent pricing for key health services to provide great care at a value, regardless of insurance coverage. Customers will be notified on the estimated cost of their visit when they book their appointment, the retailer said.

The Walmart Health center will be operated by qualified medical professionals, including physicians, nurse practitioners, dentists, behavioral health providers, and optometrists. Walmart Care hosts and community health workers on site will help customers navigate their visit, understand resources and be a familiar presence for regular visits.

Working in partnership with wellness organizations, the center will offer specialized community health resources, online education and in-center workshops to educate the community about preventive health and wellness.

TECHNOLOGY UPGRADES
Harbaugh said the addition of the healthcare clinics complement what Walmart is already doing in pharmacy and eye care services. He said each of those services is also in the process of being updated to use more technology to drive enhanced customer experience.

The new pharmacy is designed with the customer in mind, integrating feedback from thousands of customers to put convenience, simplicity and elevated service at the forefront of a reimagined experience aimed at reducing friction and wait times, Walmart said.

Walmart said it has created a Vision Center experience designed around the patient that is convenient, comfortable and affordable.

Also in the Dallas, Ga., store customers are getting a look at the retail giant’s expanded veterinary services with the Essentials PetCare clinic. It will provide affordable wellness services for dogs and cats, which includes vaccinations, routine care, microchipping, lab work and treating minor illnesses. More serious ailments and surgeries are referred to full-service veterinary hospitals in the surrounding community.

This clinic will offer low-cost services with no office visit fee, vaccinations as low as $25 and customers will have the option to add on and bundle services to keep vet care affordable. Walmart opened its first Essentials PetCare clinic in 2016 within a Walmart store in Port Richey, Fla.

Walmart said it will hold a customer fair each weekend into October at the new health clinic to provide the ample opportunities to meet the partner providers. Harbaugh said Walmart would be leaning more into healthcare services in the future which the retail giant views as a “second engine” and opportunity to be disruptive.

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