Pharmacy Times

WAL-MART PLANS HEALTH CLINIC EXPANSION

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<p>The success of in-store health clinics has caused Wal-Mart Inc to plan to open as many as 400 clinics over the next 2 to 3 years. Lee Scott, president and chief executive officer for the company, indicated that, if the current market force continues, there could be up to 2000 clinics in Wal-Mart stores over the next 5 to 7 years.</p>
<p>The health clinics, which will lease space in Wal-Mart stores, will be managed by local or regional hospitals and/ or other organizations that are independent of Wal-Mart. The expansion is a major extension of a pilot program that began in 2005. At that time, Wal-Mart began leasing space to medical clinics inside the stores. Currently, 76 clinics are operating inside Wal-Marts in 12 states.</p>
<p>&ldquo;We know that customers like and want these clinics,&rdquo; said Scott during his closing keynote address at the World Health Care Congress this past April. &ldquo;At existing clinics in our stores, about 90% of patients report being satisfied or very satisfied. They appreciate the fast, easy, and convenient experience.&rdquo; </p>
<p>Scott noted that surveys revealed that more than half of those who visited a clinic were uninsured. Nearly 15% of patients reported that they would have gone to an emergency room&mdash;therefore, increasing the burden on already strained community health care institutions.</p>