Walmart retail clinics give local hospitals a way to expand

Local hospitals or hospital systems are extending their reach by agreeing to run retail clinics at Walmarts (NYSE: WMT) in their communities.

Compared to competitors like Target, Walmart has been fairly aggressive in its plans to put health clinics in its stores. And unlike CVS Caremark, Walmart seems to take advantage of local resources when finding partners to run in-store health clinics.

After Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center begins operating a health clinic in a Walmart store in northern Nevada in October, the hospital's patients will have another way to access primary care, the chief medical officer told Northern Nevada Business Weekly.
The clinic will be the first run by parent company Catholic Healthcare West for Walmart.

Saint Mary's will try to open up to two more such clinics in Nevada in the next 12 months. According to the deal, Saint Mary's will lease space from Walmart for its 600-sq. foot in-store clinic. Typically, health clinics in Walmart stores are owned and operated by independent entities.

Nearly half of retail clinics are located in some of the most populous states: California, Florida, Illinois, Minnesota and Texas.

But Walmart seems to be expanding beyond the states that are the most likely suspects for health clinics. Blount Memorial Hospital plans to open a walk-in clinic inside the Alcoa, Tenn., Walmart in October, according to Hospital officials see the clinic as a way to reach customers who need affordable care during extended hours and give those who do not have a family physician access to care. Last week, Sebasticook Valley Health opened a new health clinic inside the Palmyra, Me., Walmart, WABI reports.

So far 98 clinics operate within Walmart stores, a company spokesman said, with another 10 projected by year end.

To learn more:
-read the Northern Nevada Business Weekly article
- read the Knox News article
- read the article
- read the WABI TV article

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