Walmart nearly doubles number of health care centers
There will be more than 75 Walmart heath centers by the end of 2024
The nation's largest retailer is nearly doubling its health care footprint.
Walmart announced Thursday that it's opening 28 new Walmart Health center locations next year. This includes expanding into two new states – Missouri and Arizona – and deepening its presence in Texas, Dr. David Carmouche, Walmart's senior vice president of Omnichannel Care, said in a company blog post.
By the end of the 2024, the Arkansas-based company plans to have more than 75 Walmart health centers across the United States.
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Ten locations will open in the Dallas, Texas, metro area with another eight opening in Houston, Texas, as well as six in Phoenix, Arizona. There will also be four new locations in Kansas City, Missouri.
The company sought out these locations in particular to help more Americans gain access to health care.
"We know the cost and convenience of health care remains a barrier for many Americans, which is why we decided to bring our one-stop model of health care to these communities," Carmouche said.
The new facilities will be approximately 5,750 square feet and located inside Walmart Supercenters. They will be equipped with Walmart Health’s full suite of health services, including primary care, dental care, behavioral health, labs and X-ray, audiology and Walmart Health Virtual Care telehealth services.
The company, which opened its first health center in 2019, also announced that it's changing the footprint and layout of the centers so that patients can spend more time with their doctor and less time in the waiting room.
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The move comes as rival Amazon has deepened its investment in the health care business as well.
Last month, the eCommerce giant closed its $3.9 billion acquisition of the primary care organization One Medical.
Amazon has said this acquisition was a key component of its growing health care business, which includes its online drugstore Amazon Pharmacy and a patient to doctor messaging service called Amazon Clinic.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.