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Walmart decelerates health center expansion plans

April 8, 2024
Healthcare Dive
Contributed by: Colin Banas
Summary
Walmart is scaling back its expansion plans for its Health Center superstores amid challenges in aligning the growth of its primary care network with market demand. Initially set to open more than 30 locations in 2024, the retail giant now plans to inaugurate 22 health centers, mainly in Texas and the Kansas City metro area, starting this month. Walmart Health, launched in 2019 in Georgia, aims to serve underserved communities with affordable, transparent pricing for a variety of services, including primary and urgent care, labs, and dental. The company's cautious growth approach comes in the context of a broader push by retail companies into the primary healthcare market, seeking to leverage their scale to meet growing demand for accessible healthcare services. Despite this slowdown, Walmart is still pursuing a goal of operating over 75 health centers by early 2025, adjusting its expansion timeline in response to external pressures, like construction resource constraints in Arizona, and reassessing its strategic approach amidst a competitive healthcare landscape dominated by big retail and tech companies.
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