Walmart Proposes Medical Service Offerings with In Store Clinics
Walmart Stores Inc. has announced that it is exploring steps toward offering in-store medical clinics at several of its stores. The company has issued a Request for Information (RFI) in hopes of finding outside healthcare partners that will help treat and manage a range of serious medical conditions, including diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, obesity, and clinical depression.
National Public Radio (NPR) has released the 14-page confidential document by Walmart Health and Wellness that was originally sent to potential vendors on October 21. The deadline for response is set for November 22, 2011. The partners will be announced in January 2012, says spokesperson Tara Raddohl.
Walmart states in the document that its company purpose is to “positively impact the lives of millions of people every day” which includes helping Americans to live healthier lives. The company hopes to ease the strain of costs related to healthcare and bring customers lower prices on the products and services they need.
Walmart is seeking vendors who can provide management and monitoring of several common diseases as well as provide the diagnostic services to detect the conditions. These would include allergy testing, lipid panel testing, urinalysis, and blood tests. Pregnancy testing, drug screening and STD testing are also among the possibilities to be offered in the retail store clinics.
“It seems that Walmart could be well-positioned to care for a dramatic increase in the number of paying patients out there,” said Larry Levitt, head of the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation’s Initiative on Health Reform and Private Insurance.
Walmart is not alone in the efforts to expand primary care services. Other retailers, such as CVS Caremark (Minute Clinics), Walgreens (Take Care clinics), Kroger and Target are also ramping up their own medical offerings.