Inside This Issue - News
Walmart reenergizes health care
July 7th, 2014
BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Showing renewed vigor under new president Labeed Diab, Walmart’s health and wellness business has appointed a merchandising executive and initiated a pilot program for company-owned in-store health clinics.
Mark Phillips was named vice president of pharmaceutical merchandising for Walmart U.S. He most recently served as senior director of merchandising for small formats and helped turn that area into a key growth vehicle for the company.
“Mark has a successful history as a buyer for multiple departments within Walmart U.S. and Walmart International,” says Diab. “We will take the opportunity to utilize Mark’s experience and talents to grow our pharmaceutical business and help our customers save money and live better.”
Phillips, who as head of the company’s pharmacy merchandising team reports directly to Diab, joined the discounter here in 1990 as an hourly associate with the accounts payable team at Sam’s Club. He was an assistant Walmart store manager in Joplin, Mo., and Garden City, Kan., before becoming a buyer in the Supercenter food division.
Walmart, which has leased clinics in stores since 2005, debuted the company-owned Walmart Care Clinic in Copperas Cove, Texas, in April. Last month the discounter added clinics in Benbrook and Carrollton in greater Dallas.
“All parts of the health care system play an important role, and our goal is to join the continuum of medical care in the communities we serve,” says a Walmart spokeswoman.
The clinics offer primary care services at affordable prices for Walmart associates as well as customers. “The Walmart Care Clinic is creating a new price position for retail health services that aims to give our associates and customers greater access to quality, affordable health care that will improve lives,” says the spokeswoman.
For most associates and family members on a Walmart health plan, a clinic visit costs $4. For customers, a visit costs $40. Separate charges apply for services beyond the office visit, such as vaccines and lab tests.
Staffed by nurse practitioners, the clinics offer services including wellness and preventive care, such as health screenings; basic acute care, including diagnosis and treatment of such illnesses as flu and strep throat; and management of certain chronic conditions, such as diabetes, asthma and high blood pressure. They also provide referrals to specialists, as needed.
Walmart is working with QuadMed to help source and manage the qualified health care professionals who will serve patients in the Walmart Care Clinic. QuadMed is nationally recognized for offering on-site primary care clinics and health care management solutions.
Diab, who was named to his post in the spring, has called health care his passion.
“With millions of customers shopping our stores every day, we have a responsibility to provide best-in-class health care for our customers,” he comments.