Walmart’s physical store locations provide a competitive advantage in the healthcare industry.
Walmart (tkr: WMT), has a physical store footprint (150 million people visit Walmart’s 4,756 store locations each week), that is well-positioned to capitalize on the opportunity to provide low-cost healthcare services, especially to America’s uninsured population.
Walmart has long operated health clinics that are buried inside of its superstore locations (Walmart fills more than 400 million prescriptions annually). The company recently rolled out two “Walmart Health” store locations in Georgia that improve upon the legacy clinic experience and offer a glimpse into the future.
Walmart Health locations are literally more accessible than legacy Walmart clinic locations given their dedicated entrance and exit points within parking lots (see pictures below), new floor plans and branding. Examples of Walmart Health services include:
- $30 medical checkups;
- $25 teeth cleanings;
- Counseling at $1 per minute;
- Lab tests – which are administered throughout the week including Sundays.
- Perhaps most important is that patient/consumer health insurance coverage is not required. Nor would health insurance make sense for many of these services as they are priced below deductible levels.
Walmart works with CVS Caremark and Capital Rx on the pharmacy benefit management (“PBM”) side and Zotec Partners of Carmel, IN on the revenue cycle management (“RCM”) and patient scheduling side of the business.
The larger question is will Walmart bring the PBM function in-house over time and negotiate drug prices directly with the Pharma companies? Same question for Amazon (tkr: AMZN) and its Haven healthcare initiative.
Our CEORater profile of Walmart Health leader Sean Slovenski.
Read Bloomberg’s long-form article HERE.
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