Walmart to close health centers, virtual care service in recent failed push into health care

Walmart opened up it will shut all of its health care clinic across the us a change of its mission to bring its cheap cost reputation to dentist and doctor office along with grocery aisle.

The big box retailer added it would close its telehealth provider which it gained in 2021 with unopened price.

Walmart will shut 51 clinic locations across Georgia, Texas, Florida plan that would not affect company 4600 pharmacies and more than 300 vision centers.

The clinics will close over next 2 to 3 months.

In a release the company expressed it could not function a profitable business due to challenging reimbursement enviroment and rising costs.

Walmart opened its first Walmart Health clinic in Georgia in 2018 and then opened more clinics next door to its big box stores.

Consumers who shopped Walmart’s aisles for groceries items could stop by for doctor or dentist appointment or therapy session.

The clinics offered other services too like stitches, X-rays.

The shortage of health care workers in U.S. has increased company labor costs according to sources familiar with matter.

Walmart declaration is sign of how challenging it is to disrupt and radically improve US health care expensive complicated and entrenched system of doctors, drug, insures manufactures that cost the country more than $4 trillion a year.

The announcement comes a month later Walmart told it planned to double the size of its clinic footprint by opening up 22 new locations this year and more in 2025.

Walmart purchase a chronic condition management platform called CareZone in 2020 for unopened amount.

Walmart opened its first Walmart Health clinic in Georgia in 2019 and then opened more clinics next door to its big box stores. Customers who shopped Walmart aisles for groceries or household items could stop by doctor or dentist appointment or therapy session.

Those health care services came with low price tage like $30 for annual check up for adults, $45 for 45 minute counselling session or little as $25 for adult teeth cleaning.

Walmart has made other plays in health care field including partnering with insurer and health system on care coordination in Florida.

Walgreen said in March it had shut down 140 of its VillageMD primary care clinic and plans to shutter 20 more to boost the chance of its broader heath care division. Walgreen recorded a $6 billion charge in first quarter related to decline in value of VillageMD which has gained less returns since company become owner in 2021.

Amazon health clinic operator One Medical now has over 125 locations nationwide.

Heath care services came with low price tag like $30 for annual check up for adults, $45 for 45 minute counselling session or little as $35 for adult teeth cleaning.

Walmart said its clinics will continue to see patients with scheduled appointment until doors close. The company will help patients find high quality providers in insurance networks to ensure they continue to get care.

Walmart Health the latest failed push into health care by high profile company following the failure of joint venture between JPMorganChase Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway in 2021.

Walmart was among race of retail giants working to make up the primary care presence as demand grows for convenient medical care.

Walmart grew its clinic business at lower pace than its contestants but few companies work hard to balance expansion plans with networks of patients.

 

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