- Walmart plans to open four new Walmart Health centers in the Oklahoma City area in 2024, its first expansion into the state of Oklahoma, the company announced.
- Oklahoma is the third new state Walmart Health plans to enter next year, along with Missouri and Arizona. Walmart also plans to expand its presence in Texas, according to a statement.
- Walmart launched Walmart Health, a network of centers offering low-cost primary care, urgent care, labs, behavioral care, dental visits and more, in 2019, and has since grown the medical group to more than 30 locations in five states.
Walmart Health continues to expand into states with a large footprint of existing Walmart stores, and a large population with unmet needs. The medical centers, which are aimed at patients with no or poor insurance coverage in underserved areas, are located next to or inside Walmart Supercenters.
Walmart claims its centers can stand out through their inexpensive and transparent pricing at the point of service.
The cost of services at a specific center vary based on factors like the baseline cost of healthcare services in a specific region, patient demographics and underlying area health needs.
The company’s clinical network has grown quickly over the past four years since launching as a one-store pilot in Georgia. Walmart has previously said it plans to have more than 75 total locations by 2024.
Walmart has not disclosed how much it is investing in the 2024 expansion, but said in 2020 it was spending “millions” of dollars to build out its clinical network.
Walmart is one of a number of retail health giants racing to build a primary care presence as demand hikes for inexpensive care close to the home. Along with rivals CVS and Walgreens, Walmart is banking on its extensive brick-and-mortar footprint, brand recognition and a series of partnerships and acquisitions to drive consumers to its medical centers.
Along with bringing in revenue from services, retail clinics have also been shown to lead to higher prescription writing and front store sales. There’s also the potential for revenue from directing consumers to other businesses, like telemedicine or health plan offerings.
As a result, the primary care space has seen a number of multibillion dollar deals. Amazon closed its $3.9 billion acquisition of primary care company One Medical in February. Earlier that same month, CVS announced plans to acquire value-based primary care chain Oak Street Health for $10.6 billion.
Some 30% of the primary market could belong to nontraditional players by 2030, according to estimates from the consultancy Bain.