Walmart Health is making a move to better coordinate patient care between its health centers in Florida and a major health system.
The retail giant announced a partnership with Orlando Health, a private, not-for-profit network of community and specialty hospitals across Florida, that will initially focus on improving referral management, care coordination and patient engagement.
It marks Walmart's first patient care coordination agreement with a health system.
Walmart Health and Orlando Health have agreed to more closely align their approach to serving patients and managing patient outcomes by streamlining the patient experience through effective transitions of care and ensuring communication between the retailer's health centers, which offer primary care services, and Orlando Health providers, the organizations said.
“Value-based outcomes are a community effort, and it is a natural evolution to work closely with other providers in the community that have shared goals. With Orlando Health as a partner, we look forward to offering a more streamlined service for our Orlando-area Walmart Health patients in support of community wellness,” said Eric Prochnow, a senior director of clinical network partnerships at Walmart, in a statement.
Walmart Health expanded its footprint with 17 new health centers across the state of Florida this year for a total of 23 Walmart Health centers. First launched in 2019, Walmart Health provides primary care, labs, X-ray and EKG, behavioral health, dental, select specialty services and community health all in one facility.
Walmart Health has 48 locations in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois and Texas.
"By collaborating with Walmart Health and focusing on care coordination in the shared patient populations, we’ll be better positioned to more quickly identify patient needs and improve outcomes together in the Orlando area,” said Cary D’Ortona, senior vice president, Orlando Health and president, Orlando Health Medical Group, in a statement.
The retailer has big ambitions to be a major player in healthcare and plans to nearly double the size of its health clinic footprint by the end of 2024, including a launch in two states and expansion in existing markets.
Walmart said back in March that it will bring its health clinics to Missouri, Arizona and Oklahoma and deepen its presence in Texas. By the end of 2024, Walmart will have 75 health locations, according to the company.
The company also is expanding online primary care benefits in partnership with Included Health as part of its employee health insurance plan to its workers across the country. As part of the expansion, virtual care options for digestive health and physical therapy will also be available, including some basic at-home lab work early next year.
Walmart Health also announced a partnership with Ambetter from Sunshine Health, which is operated by Centene and provides insurance to individuals through the Florida health insurance marketplace.
Beginning Nov. 1, Ambetter from Sunshine Health now includes Walmart Health Centers as a preferred provider in Clay, Duval, Hillsborough, Orange, Osceola, Pasco and Seminole counties in Florida through the Ambetter Value Plan. Through that partnership, the two organizations will also focus on patient engagement through care coordination and referral management.
This collaboration marks an expansion of the existing relationship between Walmart Health and Ambetter Health, which began earlier this year as the companies collaborated to enhance awareness of Medicaid redetermination efforts and expand access to marketplace health insurance within Walmart Health centers.
“We continue to look for ways to make health care even more accessible to the communities we serve,” said Richard Fuchs, senior vice president, sales, strategy and innovation at Walmart, in a statement. “Both Walmart Health and Ambetter Health share a focus on serving local communities, and this collaboration will enable more Floridians to access care. We’re excited to offer Ambetter from Sunshine Health members quality care in one location, conveniently located adjacent to Walmart Supercenters where many members already shop for groceries and everyday essentials.”