Walmart's healthcare ambitions: 6 recent moves

From partnering with Optum for healthcare analytics to opening a healthcare research institute, here are the six most recent healthcare moves from Walmart as reported by Becker's.

  1. Walmart Health centers in Florida and Georgia partnered with Optum for analytics and decision support tools. The digital tools will boost Walmart Health's value-based care efforts, especially for Medicare beneficiaries.

  2. Clinical IT leader Kumar Murukurthy, MD, left Chicago-based CommonSpirit Health for a role at Walmart Health & Wellness. Dr. Murukurthy was the system vice president of clinical applications at CommonSpirit and will join Walmart as a senior director.

  3. Howard Hacker joined Walmart Oct. 17 as the company's vice president of health and wellness compliance. Mr. Hacker previously served as executive vice president and chief compliance officer of Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare. In his new role at Walmart, Mr. Hacker will oversee health and wellness compliance for clinics, pharmacy and optical operations.

  4. Walmart partnered with fertility startup Kindbody to offer benefits under its insurance plan that will help its workers expand their families. Walmart will offer employees benefits such as in vitro fertilization and fertility testing regardless of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status.

  5. Walmart launched the Walmart Healthcare Research Institute Oct. 11. The research institute will initially focus on inclusion in clinical studies on treatments for chronic conditions and treatments that should include members from underrepresented populations, including older adults, rural residents, women and minority populations. 

  6. Walmart retailers began selling over-the-counter hearing aids Oct. 17, about three months after President Joe Biden signed an executive order telling HHS to speed up the years-in-the-making promise. The hearing aids will be priced between $199 and $999 per pair. 

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