Walmart Health plans to enter 2 new states in 2024

Walmart Health is planning to nearly double the size of its footprint by the end of 2024, including a launch in two states and expansion in existing markets.

The retail giant announced Thursday morning that it will bring its health clinics to Missouri and Arizona and grow its reach in Texas. By the end of 2024, Walmart will have 75 health locations, according to the company.

David Carmouche, M.D., senior vice president of omnichannel care, told Fierce Healthcare that the size of the expansion highlights the positive response to Walmart Health.

"It's a pretty clear sign that we're getting good feedback," he said.

The expansion includes six locations in the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area and four locations in the Kansas City, Missouri region, according to the retailer. In addition, Walmart Health will open 10 new locations in Dallas and eight in Houston.

Carmouche said that Walmart evaluates expansion locations based on a slew of factors, including the retailer's reach in a certain region as well as tracking access challenges to identify areas where the clinics can make the greatest impact on patients.

The company also has put a focus on value-based care, backed by a long-term partnership with UnitedHealth Group, and virtual care, so those two elements also come into play when considering where to expand its Walmart Health locations next, Carmouche said.

Walmart also announced this week a three-year partnership with CareSource to tackle health inequities. The partners will start in Ohio with a focus on cardiometabolic conditions, and then expand to maternal and child health.

He added that the company's approach to the clinics has evolved over time as Walmart Health gets more experience under its belt and serves more customers. When the clinics initially launched, the focus was on a true "retail kind of approach" that offered a long list of services to an expected audience of cash-pay customers.

Over time, Walmart Health has learned what services are the most valuable to patients, and has adapted to work with insurance companies instead of focusing on uninsured people, he said.

But what hasn't changed is its focus on what worked when Walmart itself was built in the first place: start small, build loyalty with the customer and continue to invest in that experience.

"Once you get that formula, it doesn't really make sense to stop," Carmouche said. "We're just starting to scratch the surface."