Retailers Continue Push Into Primary Care

A previous blog post discussed how insurers were venturing into the primary care space by opening their own clinics, most notably the partnership between CVS Health and Aetna to operate MinuteClinics. Now retailers are the latest to jump into the market with Wal-Mart having opened two standalone health clinics in the last six months.

In what appears to be Wal-Mart Health’s pilot program, the retailing giant has been operating primary care clinics in Georgia. Calhoun, Ga., and Dallas, Ga., are existing clinic sites with a third site expected to open this summer in Loganville. Wal-Mart Health has not yet disclosed how many total clinics it plans to open and if they plan to expand outside of Georgia.

Wal-Mart Health clinics offer primary care services to patients, even those without insurance. A sample of services and prices include:

  • Sick or Injury Visit: $40

  • Dental Exam: $50 adult/$40 child

  • Eye Exam: $45

  • Mental Counseling Services: $60

  • Diagnostic Lab Tests

  • X-Ray Imaging On-site

Though patient volumes haven’t been disclosed, Sean Slovenski, Walmart’s president of health and wellness, has said that performance is exceeding expectations. And, with over 4,700 stores nationwide, the expansion of clinics would potentially allow Wal-Mart to grab a fair share of consumer health spending.

As retailers begin to look to healthcare as a way to improve their bottom line, it opens the door for hospitals and health systems to position themselves as valued health partners within their communities. While a Wal-Mart Health clinic may offer convenience, it falls short of offering a full spectrum of primary care services and lacks the referrals to specialists and advanced care that are often important following a primary care visit.

One way that health systems can build these relationships is through local employers. By becoming the preferred provider for employers and their employees, health systems can build relationships that reach far beyond those offered by retail clinics and move their primary care perimeter closer to the consumer. And, there exists a large opportunity to help employees address and manage health issues before they require reactive care.

In a market that is seeing is a great deal of change and disruption, employers are looking for partners that can help them manage their healthcare costs and initiatives. No one is positioned better for this partnership than community hospitals and health systems. While not always an easy road to navigate, Applied Health Analytics can help establish these partnerships and position hospitals and health systems as the population health management experts in the communities they serve.

Applied Health Analytics can help achieve this by providing the following:

  • Strategy development and leadership to help define market position and determine an approach that is most advantageous for all involved

  • Best-in-class technology that helps collect and aggregate the health information of an employee population

  • Go-to-market support that helps hospitals and health systems deliver compelling messages to community employers in order to develop a solid partnership

Contact Applied Health Analytics to learn more about how hospitals and health systems can develop effective community partnerships that will best primary care services offered by retailers.