3 Reasons Why Hospitals Might Be Scared of Wal-Mart
In a video from the Advisory Board, Lisa Bielamowicz, MD, CMO of Health Care Advisory Board, said about a third of provider' patients shop at Wal-Mart on a weekly basis. "It's the cheapest place to buy groceries and ammunition, and it could become your most formidable competitor," Dr. Bielamowicz said in the video.
Wal-Mart has unveiled plans to have primary care services in rural markets within five to seven years. Here are three of the most pressing questions and potential scenarios for hospitals and health systems.
• What if Wal-Mart expands enough in primary care that it disrupts local established patient-physician relationships and referral chains?
• What if it combines consumer, pharmacy and clinical data to create comprehensive patient profiles and uses that to create a membership model that drives patient decisions?
• What if they are able to partner with a nationwide health plan and require aggressive price concessions to participate in their networks?
"Wal-Mart may or may not become a major player in the healthcare provider market," said Dr. Bielamowicz. "But either way, health systems need to fundamentally shift their growth strategy because the basis for competition is about to radically change."
She said health systems need to attract key decision makers by delivering greater value to newly accountable physicians, cost-sensitive employers and to demanding consumers. If hospitals cannot meet the needs and demands of these stakeholders, someone else — such as Wal-Mart — will, said Dr. Bielamowicz.
More Articles on Hospitals and Retail Health:Retail Clinics Expected to Double by 2018
Study: Number of People Visiting Retail Clinics Quadruples
Retail Clinics Expected to Grow 133% in Next 5 Years
© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2016. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.
To receive the latest hospital and health system business and legal news and analysis from Becker's Hospital Review, sign-up for the free Becker's Hospital Review E-weekly by clicking here.