Even before the pandemic, Walmart (WMT) – Get Walmart Inc. Report has been on a steadfast mission to make its dent on the health-care space.
A 10,000-square-foot space offering primary medical services, dental care and behavioral health services, the first “Walmart Health” center opened in Dallas, Georgia, in September 2019.
A few months before, it had announced plans to acquire telehealth company MeMD and, by 2021, became a major provider of COVID-19 vaccines.
“We continue our work to build a larger health and wellness business and help customers and associates have a better experience when it comes to their healthcare,” CEO Doug McMillon told investors after an earnings call in 2021.
New Health Centers Coming to Florida
Since their launch in 2019, Walmart Health has expanded to have 20 locations across Arkansas, Georgia and Illinois.
Most recently, the retail giant announced that it would also bring five new Walmart Health to Florida to north and central Florida.
Along with primary medical services, the doctor-staffed clinics will offer urgent and non-urgent care services such as X-rays and EKGs, dental and eye care, counseling and hearing check-ups.
“With only one primary care doctor per 1,380 Florida residents, these Walmart Health centers will help address the demand for care in three major cities in the Sunshine State, delivering quality health care at the right time in the right setting, right next to where many Floridians get their groceries,” David Carmouche, senior vice president of Omnichannel Care Offerings at Walmart, said in a statement.
“We are part of these communities, and we are excited to bring more options for in-person and telehealth care services to our neighbors.”
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Located at 7075 Collins Road, the first new Walmart Health Location opened next to the Collins Road Supercenter in Jacksonville on April 5.
Other locations are slated for Orlando and Tampa, while nurse practitioners, dentists, behavioral health providers and optometrists will operate on-site alongside physicians.
While marketing Walmart Health as a “low-cost” option, the retail giant did not expand on how much different services will cost with or without insurance.
Walmart Sets Its Sights On Health
Demand for healthcare is not going down and, as a result, creating a very lucrative opportunity for retail companies that had previously not offered it.
CMS data found that health care spending rose by nearly 10% to $4.1 trillion, or $12,530 per person, in 2020.
Florida, in particular, has been a popular place due to its rapidly-expanding population size and high number of elderly residents.
Walmart said that, as Florida’s population increased by 13% between 2010 to 2019, it is “excited to meet the needs of Florida’s residents as the state’s population grows.”
Walmart, Amazon (AMZN) – Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report, CVS (CVS) – Get CVS Health Corporation Report and Walgreens (WBA) – Get Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc Report have all invested in the health care space in the last few years. Similarly to Walmart, Walgreens has been opening primary-care centers in Texas, Arizona and Florida.
After moving to transform some of its drugstore locations into clinics, CVS recently also launched a line of comfort-grip canes and easy-fold travel walkers.
Jeff Bezos’s brainchild also recently expanded its Amazon Care urgent and primary care centers to 20 new cities across the country.
Over the last year, Walmart has been able to keep up the momentum after the boost from vaccination campaigns during the pandemic. Company shares are 11.19% since 2021 and 107.43% in the last five years.