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The company said in a statement that it was unable to generate a profit from the business, citing the “challenging reimbursement environment,” as well as rising operating costs.

Walmart to shutter all 51 health center locations

Company cites operating costs, challenging reimbursement environment

Walmart is closing all 51 of its Walmart Health clinics and discontinuing its telehealth operations, the company said on Tuesday.

While we took a thoughtful and deliberate approach, the health center business was not sustainable for us,” Annie Patterson, a Walmart spokesperson, told Supermarket News.

The company said in a statement that it was unable to generate a profit from the business, citing the “challenging reimbursement environment,” as well as rising operating costs. Drugstore operators have also cited reimbursement pressures as a significant obstacle to expanding their healthcare services, as both private and government insurance programs have been reluctant to pay for some services in these settings.

Walmart’s decision to close the clinics follows Walgreens’ recent announcement that it would close 160 VillageMD primary-care clinics, and also recorded a non-cash impairment charge of $5.8 billion related to the value of the VillageMD business.

CVS, meanwhile, despite closing 25 MinuteClinics in Southern California, said it would continue to expand its Oak Street Health primary-care clinic operations, with plans to add 50-60 such locations this year.

Walmart launched its Walmart Health centers in 2019 as add-ons to select Supercenter locations, offering access to a range of medical and dental services. This included primary care such as physicals, chronic care management, allergy treatment, and annual checkups, as well as urgent care and same-day crowns and fillings. In addition to convenient access to these services and others, the Walmart Health centers also focused on providing competitive pricing.

The health centers also offered access to behavioral health clinicians focused on providing individual and group counseling and treatment for alcohol abuse, depression, anxiety, stress, and other conditions.

“During our five-year journey, we made meaningful impacts with patients while continuing to learn, pivot, and evolve,” the company said.

Walmart said it would apply those learnings across its other health services, which include nearly 4,600 pharmacies and more than 3,000 vision centers. The company said it continues to expand its clinical capabilities in its pharmacies, including adding immunizations and “testing and treatment” services for various illnesses at a growing number of locations. It also offers medication therapy management and a variety of health screenings in its pharmacies.

Patterson said the company was evaluating how it would repurpose the space that the in-store clinics occupied.

“We are constantly evolving our store experience,” she said. “We'll evaluate alternative uses for the physical space that allow us to best serve our customers.”

Walmart currently operates about 40 of its Walmart Health centers in Florida and Georgia, with the rest in Arkansas, Illinois, and Texas.

Less than a month ago, Walmart had said it was opening several clinics in Texas as part of an 18-unit rollout this year.

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