Health Services, Startups, Retail Health

Walmart partners with startup to open three primary care clinics in Dallas

The retailer will partner with Oak Street Health, which operates primary care centers for Medicare patients. The two companies will start with three primary care clinics in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Walmart will open three clinics in Dallas through a partnership with startup Oak Street Health. The companies will open three clinics attached to Supercenters this year, replacing former retail health spaces operated by Walmart in Arlington, Benbrook and Carrollton, Texas. They will offer primary care and urgent care services.

“We’ve proudly served customers at these three former Walmart Care Clinic locations for the last five years, and we are excited to bring this evolved approach to healthcare to our customers at these locations with Oak Street Health,” Walmart Health Senior Vice President Marcus Osborne said in a news release. “As we grow Walmart Health locations in other markets, we think Oak Street Health’s innovative value-based healthcare model will help us continue to deliver on our live better promise at these locations.”

Chicago-based Oak Street Health runs primary care clinics for Medicare patients. Most of its funding comes from capitation agreements with Medicare or Medicare Advantage plans. Last month, the startup went public, bringing in $328 million.

“We are looking forward to leveraging services within the supercenter, like the pharmacy, which offers great convenience for patients,” an Oak Street spokeswoman wrote in an email.

Walmart, for its part, has been testing a new healthcare strategy. While the company had operated care clinics before that offered the usual mix of retail health services — treatments for common illnesses, immunizations, and lab tests — it’s now rolling out more comprehensive outpatient clinics.

These new health centers offer primary care, dental, counseling and other services, and Walmart is hiring providers to staff these clinics directly instead of contracting with outside providers. So far, the company has opened Walmart Health centers in Georgia and Arkansas, and has planned locations in Chicago and Jacksonville, Florida.

Sean Slovenski, who spearheaded this effort at Walmart, recently left the company for testing startup BioIQ. The company is still looking for a new executive vice president of Health and Wellness, but in the meantime, Walmart promoted an internal hire to oversee the segment.

Lori Flees, the former head of Sam’s Club Health and Wellness,  was recently named senior vice president and COO of Walmart Health and Wellness, according to Chain Drug Review.  She led Walmart’s acquisition of medication management app CareZone earlier this year.


Photo credit: Walmart