Wal-Mart Joins With Hospitals To Expand In-Store Health Clinics
Wal-Mart Stores on Thursday is expected to announce that it will open several hundred new in-store medical clinics by 2010 and that it will co-brand the clinics with local hospitals and medical groups, the New York Times reports.
The company says it will brand 200 of the new clinics, which will be called Clinic at Wal-Mart walk-in centers, with RediClinics, a Revolution Health company. Currently, Wal-Mart has 78 in-store clinics in operation, including 13 run by RediClinics, but the clinics have "had uneven performance in some cases," the Times reports. The current clinics will be converted to the new brand as their leases come up for renewal. The company plans to have a total of 400 clinics by 2010.
Wal-Mart spokesperson Deisha Galberth said that Wal-Mart will partner with local hospitals and medical practices to run the clinics. The first Clinic at Wal-Mart will open in Little Rock, Ark., in April and will be staffed by nurse practitioners employed by the St. Vincent Hospital System (Freudenheim, New York Times, 2/7).
Galberth said that co-branding the clinics means that they will carry the names of both Wal-Mart and its partners and will have an identical look and record keeping system.
According to the Convenient Care Association, a trade group for walk-in clinics, about 7% of U.S. residents have used a walk-in clinic at least once.
In November 2007, there were about 800 in-store clinics nationwide. CCA estimates there will be more than 1,500 by the end of this year.
Walk-in clinics typically are staffed by nurse practitioners or physician assistants and offer care for routine conditions, such as colds, bladder infections or sunburn (Kabel, AP/Hartford Courant, 2/7).