American retail behemoth Walmart has found a new fancy. It is debuting a health service called Walmart Health in a Georgia clinic. Though the company already has clinics within retail locations in Georgia as well as South Carolina and Texas.
A move into the mental health market
Walmart has created a new website called Walmarthealth.com. On the retailer’s website, a link to Walmart Health is available. Patients can visit this website to set up appoints at the clinic. Though it is evident that the Georgia clinic is only the first clinic of its kind and the company will open many new clinics soon. Some people familiar with the company’s plans, spoke on the condition of anonymity that the company is only testing the concept in Georgia.
A company spokesperson noted,
“Walmart is committed to making healthcare more affordable and accessible for customers in the communities we serve. The new Walmart Health center in our Dallas, Georgia, store will provide low, transparent pricing for key health services for local customers.”
The newest Dallas clinic will be open to patients in September and will specialize in reasonably priced and comprehensive primary care. Unlike other clinics that the company opened recently, the new clinic will be located in a building adjacent to the Dallas store. This will provide more privacy for the users, who may not want to meet a medical practitioner inside a Walmart store. A separate building also becomes important to patients as the clinic will provide mental health services as well.
What to expect?
According to its website, patients can book appointments from September 13 onwards. It will offer labs, X-rays, audiology, counseling, dental care and primary care to the patients. The Dallas clinic will be led by Sean Slovenski, who jumped ship from Humana.
At a time when the world’s largest retailer is going toe-to-toe with Amazon, a move into the healthcare sector may look eerie. However, it should be noted that Walmart already has a strong presence in this sector. It is one of the largest pharmacies in the country and offers prescription drugs in over 4,700 of its stores. Last fiscal, the company earned $332 billion in revenue via US sales of which $36 billion was contributed by the health and wellness sector, which includes optical services, clinical services, and pharmacy.
Walmart is venturing into mental health services for the first time. Last year, it leased some space to a third-party behavioral health company in a Texas store. Since then, it has realized that its presence could have a more significant impact on this space.