Why Orlando Health became Walmart's 1st hospital partner

Orlando (Fla.) Health said it became Walmart's first health system partner to provide patients with care not offered at the retailer's clinics and because both organizations share a goal of expanding access to healthcare.

Under the arrangement finalized Nov. 1, Orlando Health and Walmart Health will work together to coordinate care for the retail giant's patients who are admitted to the health system's hospitals or need specialty care.

"We have a respect and appreciation for Walmart's mission to broaden access to care in the local community," Timothy Traver, assistant vice president of strategic planning at Orlando Health, told Becker's. "Their efforts align with — and are complementary to — Orlando Health’s mission to provide high-quality care to the community."

The first Walmart Health center launched in 2019, providing primary, behavioral and dental care in a 10,000-square-foot facility adjacent to a Walmart store in Georgia. Walmart Health has since opened nearly 50 more of the clinics across Arkansas, Florida, Illinois and Texas. Florida has the most, with 23, more than a third of them in the Orlando market.

Until this month, though, Walmart Health hadn't partnered with health systems on specialty and hospital care. Other retail disruptors such as Amazon's One Medical and CVS MinuteClinic have long had health system referral agreements in their local markets.

Asked about the financial details of the partnership, Mr. Traver said it is "solely focused on care continuity for community patients and is not transactional." The union is also facilitated by both organizations using Epic for their EHRs.

"We have a shared interest in providing continuity of care for patients needing additional care services not offered in the Walmart Health clinic setting," Mr. Traver said. "The healthcare landscape is continually evolving, and our goal is to pursue partnerships which can benefit the community's access to healthcare and overall wellness."

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