Walmart to bring telehealth nationwide with acquisition of MeMD: 8 details

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Walmart Health has entered an agreement to acquire on-demand, multispecialty telehealth provider MeMD, the retailer said May 6.

Eight details:

1. Through the acquisition, Walmart aims to strengthen its brick-and-mortar health centers initiative, said Cheryl Pegus, MD, executive vice president of health and wellness at Walmart, according to the news release.

"Telehealth offers a great opportunity to expand access and reach consumers where they are and complements our brick-and-mortar Walmart Health locations," she said. "Today people expect omnichannel access to care and adding telehealth to our Walmart Health care strategies allows us to provide in-person and digital care across our multiple assets and solutions."

2. The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close in the next few months. By acquiring MeMD, Walmart will begin providing virtual care services for urgent, behavioral and primary care to complement its in-person Walmart Health Centers.

3. Walmart's telehealth push will allow it to stay up to pace with Amazon, which recently announced its plans to expand telehealth to nearly 1 million employees by this summer. 

4. MeMD was founded in 2010; the company provides medical and mental health visits to 5 million members across the U.S. It runs 24/7 service throughout the year.

5. The telehealth sector has become increasingly competitive as retail giants like Walmart and Amazon step in. Shares of longtime telehealth leader Teladoc dropped 3 percent in after-hours trading following Walmart's announcement, according to a May 6 Wall Street Journal report. 

6. Walmart opened its first freestanding health clinic in Dallas, Ga., in September 2019. It has expanded to additional locations in Georgia as well as Texas, Arkansas and Chicago. The clinics offer services ranging from medical checkups, teeth cleanings and mental health counselors.

7. In April, Walmart inked a partnership with direct-to-consumer telehealth app Ro, launching the company's health and wellness products and digital services in more than 4,600 Walmart stores across the country.

8. Walmart also has a partnership with Doctor on Demand to offer services to its 1.3 million workers nationwide. In February 2019, Walmart dropped the price of virtual visits for employees from $40 to $4 per visit, and during the pandemic, the company has offered telehealth for free to employees covered by Walmart's health insurance plan. 

 

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