Walmart Is Expanding This Customer Service With 5 New Openings
In keeping with the company's mission to help people save money and live better, Walmart is expanding further into the field of healthcare. The retail giant has announced the opening of five new Walmart Health centers across one southern state, which will give both insured and uninsured residents access to affordable medical, dental, and optometry services conveniently located next door to their neighborhood Walmart supercenters.
The rollout of Florida's health centers is already underway with the first Jacksonville location opening this week and continuing with four additional health centers in the Jacksonville, Tampa, and Orlando areas. These locations join 20 others previously introduced and piloted throughout Georgia, Arkansas, and Illinois.
Walmart's health service offerings have come a long way since the first in-store pharmacy opened its doors in 1978. And this latest endeavor has the potential to turn the company into a top player in the healthcare space and a go-to for customers who may normally only go to the store for groceries and other items.
These new health centers build on what Walmart's existing care clinics are able to offer—providing comprehensive services such as primary care, X-rays, counseling, flu shots, lab testing, and even fitness and nutrition all under one roof. Plus, patients can take advantage of transparent pricing, extended evening and weekend hours, and telehealth options.
The newest Florida locations are unique because they will be the first to adopt Epic's extensive Electronic Health Records (EHR) platform. This software organizes health data into a single portal to provide patients, healthcare providers, and insurance companies alike with a seamless experience.
While this most recent round of Walmart Health openings is a positive step forward, their launch is a year behind the company's initial, ambitious schedule.
Locations in the Sunshine State were originally slated to open during 2021, according to a 2020 Walmart news release which detailed the success of the earlier health center prototypes and plans to expand accessible care into additional markets. However, progress was slowed as the corporation navigated COVID-19 vaccine distribution, the growth of automated fulfillment centers, accelerated digital offerings, and finalized a partnership with Epic over the past two years.
Despite the delay, the company expressed excitement in expanding its healthcare arm into a region where more accessible healthcare services are in high demand and, additionally, in a fruitful market where they already maintain a strong presence—Florida currently has the second-highest volume of Walmart stores in the country with 387 locations across the state.
"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," Walmart's senior vice president of Omnichannel Care Offerings, Dr. David Carmouche said. "We are part of these communities, and we are excited to bring more options for in-person and telehealth care services to our neighbors."
For more information on how the retailer is adapting to better serve their customers, read about the 10 Biggest Changes Walmart Made This Year.