Healthcare transparency comes to Wal-Mart?
Who says a doctor visit needs to cost a lot? Apparently, Wal-Mart is opening clinics in its stores, as a way to boost sales and use its clout to help keep healthcare costs down. Since Wal-Mart recently stopped covering part time employees for healthcare services, perhaps they are planning to keep many healthcare services in house to create their own version of affordable healthcare.
$40 a visit is what Wal-Mart is going to charge for those doctor visits, which is a great deal for many of the common things we visit doctors for. Most folks who can afford it would prefer to have a relationship with their doctor, however, clinics such as these may be a great way to service low income and Medicaid clientele with primary care services, especially since these are the people who frequent Wal-Mart for many of the things they need on a daily basis. For Wal-Mart, this may be a great idea as it would likely help them increase retail sales as they visit the doctor and then pick up the things they may need for their daily lives.
The other thing this does is give their clients true healthcare transparency through pricing people can understand and afford. Gone are the crazy prices and then the negotiated amounts that are a sliver of the initial billing. Wal-Mart’s clinics will make it so you can know what you are buying and the price of course would be affordable.
Check this out
Wal-Mart’s new everyday low price: A $40 doctor visit
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. pushed down prices for some generic prescription drugs to just $4 eight years ago, setting a new industry standard. Now it is trying to do the same for seeing a doctor.
On Friday, a Walmart Care Clinic opened in Dalton, Ga., six months after Walmart U.S., the retailer’s WMT, +0.38% biggest unit, entered the business of providing primary health care. It now operates a dozen clinics in rural Texas, South Carolina and Georgia and has increased its target for openings this year to 17.
An office visit costs $40, which Walmart U.S. says is about half the industry standard, and just $4 for Walmart U.S. employees and family members with the company’s insurance. A pregnancy test costs just $3, and a cholesterol test $8. A typical retail clinic offers acute care only. But a Walmart Care Clinic also treats chronic conditions such as diabetes. (Walmart U.S. also leases space in its stores to 94 clinics owned by others that set their own pricing.)
“It was very important to us that we establish a retail price in the health-care industry because price leadership matters to us,” said Jennifer LaPerre, a Walmart U.S. senior director responsible for health and wellness, in an interview.