What’s interesting is they don’t take insurance but will honor Medicare. I guess there has not bee enough time yet and most will be in rural areas. These clinics are set to monitor chronic care patients and do a bit more than the average retail clinic provides. In Texas United/Optum has now opened Urgent care clinics as well.
United Healthcare Now Entering the Urgent Care Clinic Business To Help Keep Patients Out of the ER, Two More Opening In Houston–Subsidiary Watch
The clinics will be overseen by a physician but that does not mean they will be treating patients and could be covering more than one location. The primary care clinics will charge $40 a visit. BD
The company has opened five primary care locations in South Carolina and Texas, and plans to open a sixth clinic in Palestine, Texas, on Friday, with another six planned by the end of the year.
The clinics, it says, can offer a broader range of services, like chronic disease management, than the 100 or so acute care clinics leased by hospital operators at Walmarts across the country. Unlike CVS or Walgreens, which also offer some similar services, or Costco, which offers eye care, Walmart is marketing itself as a primary medical provider.
Like its competitors, Walmart is looking to grab a bigger share of the billions of health care dollars being spent in the United States and benefit from the shifting delivery system that has resulted from the Affordable Care Act.
The primary clinic model could offer some new advantages over the more basic clinics, often referred to as "retail clinics." The limited list of minor illnesses that a retail clinic can treat -- the flu, for instance -- often peaks in the winter months, Charland said, and slows down significantly at other times of year.
While it accepts Medicare, it does not currently accept third-party insurance, although it is exploring the option, a spokeswoman, Danit Marquardt, said, adding that it is starting to enroll some of its stores in Medicaid.