Wal-Mart has played it safe when it comes to retail clinics, partnering with regional hospitals to offer services like flu shots. But now, the retailer is taking a more aggressive tack, with in-store branded clinics offering primary care at a price competitors may find hard to match.
"It was important to Wal-Mart that we be able to maintain or be a price leader in this space," said Jennifer LaPerre, Wal-Mart U.S. senior director for health and wellness, who is overseeing the rollout of the company's new Walmart Care Clinics.
LaPerre was in Carrollton, Georgia, in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains, to open the ninth Walmart Care Clinic. Three more are planned this year as part of a pilot program to offer primary care services such as health screenings and disease management of conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure in-store.
The price? Just $4 for employees and dependents on the company's health plan. For customers, the price is $40—about the same as an online telemedicine consultation with a doctor.
"We wanted to be able to monitor and manage and control price. We wanted to be able to focus on a scope of services that were meaningful to our customers and associates," LaPerre said.