Wal-Mart‘s foray into healthcare, with their opening of dozens of in-store clinics, is both rough and persistent. A contracting company called CheckUps, hired to run a number of the clinics, has decided to close 23 of its Wal-Mart operations. On the other hand, Wal-Mart is pressing ahead with its partnership with Steve Case’s RediClinic. (Mr. Case is also known as the founder of Revolution Health, a health portal) . The plan is for RediClinic to partner with local area hospitals to run the in-store clinics.
From the New York Times:
Wal-Mart has leased space to about 80 clinics in stores across the country, including the CheckUps clinics now closed. They are all operated by independent firms, including 13 by RediClinics, a unit of Steven Case’s Revolution Health company, and two by hospital companies in Wisconsin and Florida.
While some of the Wal-Mart clinics are headed by doctors, most are run by nurse practitioners who are limited to providing routine medical care like giving flu shots or prescribing drugs for sore throats. Operators say their main clients are mothers with small children, and that about 30 percent do not have a family doctor.
Wal-Mart said it hoped the CheckUps clinics would not stay vacant for long.
From American Medical News:
Among Wal-Mart’s first expansions will be in its home state of Arkansas, where St. Vincent Health System will own and operate four clinics in Little Rock scheduled to open in April.
At least half of the 400 new clinics will be opened through a deal with RediClinic, a chain owned by AOL co-founder Steve Case’s Revolution Health. RediClinic will seek commitments from hospital systems as partners for Wal-Mart clinics, starting in Atlanta and Dallas. Hospitals could be contracted as strategic partners without an ownership stake. Or they might split a stake in the facility, such as RediClinic and Memorial Hermann do in 11 H-E-B grocery clinics in Houston.