The largest U.S. retail chain, Walmart, is changing its healthcare strategy by installing and running its own primary care clinics. In the past, Walmart has sold prescription drugs, co-branded a Medicare drug plan and has partnered with hospitals and providers to open approximately 100 walk-in clinics. Now, Walmart is going to be a “quasi-provider” itself by opening six in-store Walmart Care Clinics in Texas and South Carolina, with plans for several more this year. The new clinics will offer access to nurse practitioners for $40 ($4 for the company’s insured employees) and dozens of low-cost lab tests. The prices are aimed at “setting a new retail price in the healthcare industry.” Visits with an NP for uninsured or privately insured patients will be $40. The clinics will also accept Medicaid and fee-for-service Medicare. The company hopes to attract price-sensitive lower-income and uninsured populations.
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