Providing Healthcare at a Low Cost: Walmart Opens Care Host Locations

There is a new force in town battling against the growing costs of medical care for Americans: Walmart. That’s right—as the broken system of government-regulated healthcare continues to drive itself into the ground with high costs, Walmart has geared up to offer affordable healthcare services for their customers.

The local Supercenter in Calhoun, GA has constructed 12 waiting rooms in their 6,300-square-foot facility where insured and uninsured patients can have a medical checkup for $30 or a $25 teeth cleaning. There are even counselors available for people seeking mental health services and they charge only $1 a minute for their sessions. In addition to these services, x-rays and hearing checks are also provided. You can book your appointments online or walk in for their services and you can even get labs done on the weekend!

walmart affordable healthcare services
The reception area at the Walmart Health center in Dallas. (PEYTON FULFORD FOR BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK)

Another Care Host location has been established in Dallas, GA as well. These health centers have their own separate entrance from the parking lot, which gives customers a sense of privacy. This is a big leap from their past “Care Clinics” that were cramped within the store and only provided limited services to customers. Now, Walmart has moved in the right direction by completely revamping their original idea for retail clinics. The set prices pretty much eliminate most of the paperwork for both doctors and patients, as patients would rather pay a flat rate than getting their insurance involved.

Dr. Janki Patel at the Calhoun location says it allows optimal patient care: “I don’t feel so rushed and I can spend more time with patients.” This is possible because Walmart’s model lowers the costs of offering services by about 40% by cutting out what Sean Slovenski (Walmart SVP of health and wellness) calls “administrative baloney.” Services cost nearly half of what they would in hospitals and private practices.

walmart affordable healthcare services
The clinics will perform diagnostic lab tests for things like blood glucose and lipids. (PEYTON FULFORD FOR BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK)

Walmart has not given an official statement regarding how many “Care Host” locations will be opened, but there is no question that expansion is eminent considering that Walmart attracts 150 million people a week in all 4,756 locations. Slovenski states that they will be opening their third location in Loganville, GA.

It remains to be seen whether Walmart’s low-cost healthcare services will sustain enough income for full expansion, but the outlook is good. Either way, this is just another example of businesses stepping up where the government continuously lacks, showing the American people once again that there are other avenues for them to rely on.

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