Walmart health chief: Opening primary care clinics 'just the start'

Walmart's plan to open comprehensive and low-cost primary health clinics in Georgia is just the beginning of its healthcare push, the retail giant's health and wellness chief told Business Insider.

The first clinic, called Walmart Health, will open in Dallas, Ga., Sept. 13. It will offer primary care, lab, imaging, dental and counseling services. Walmart plans to offer the visits, cleanings and lab tests at prices about 30 percent to 50 percent lower than what people are currently paying at physician offices and other retail health clinics. Walmart's clinic will take insurance. 

If the pilot clinics succeed, Walmart plans to build more in Georgia and eventually build them nationwide. With a footprint so large, Walmart could quickly become the nation's largest provider of basic healthcare.

But opening primary care clinics are just the start of Walmart's healthcare ambitions, Sean Slovenski, Walmart's president of health and wellness, told Business Insider.

The goal for Walmart's healthcare push is to mirror what Walmart's supercenter stores did for retail: offer a wide range of services conveniently and at a much cheaper price than its rivals, according to Business Insider.

Beyond opening its health clinics, Walmart plans to offer home services and mobile units with specialty services.

Mr. Slovenski told Business Insider that it is planning to have pop-up shops for different medical specialists, a mobile dermatology clinic or a mobile women's health clinic that can travel from shop to shop, for example. 

Walmart's ambitions mirror that of CVS and Walgreens, which are working to offer more healthcare services as a way to remain competitive with online retailers like Amazon. 


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