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At Walmart – The Doctor Is In

11/10/2011

The connection of retailing and health care may have taken a big step yesterday when Kaiser Health News reported that Walmart is in the process of piecing together a comprehensive low-cost primary care healthcare platform.

Walmart is looking to partner with outside health care companies to treat and manage a number of serious medical conditions, including HIV, diabetes and depression. While denying the report, clearly Walmart is exploring leveraging their significant physical footprint to deliver additional services to its customers.

Other retailers, such as Target, Walgreens and CVS Caremark, have already entered this space with in-store clinics. In-store clinics like those at Target are staffed by nurse practitioners and physician assistants treating minor ailments. Sort of “health care lite”. Walmart may be headed to full-blown doctor led clinic operations.

Walmart will be closely watched over the next months as this strategy will have an impact on the retail and health care landscapes. The principle of one-stop shopping for goods and services has great appeal to many consumers. And, if in typical Walmart fashion, low-cost delivery is added into the mix, it’s likely to become successful.

Until then, take your vitamins, watch what you eat and work out a bit every day.

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