This article is about- How Walmart is disrupting healthcare. Firstly, we explain the US healthcare segment. Then, we discuss the Walmart influence in U.S. Finally, we discuss the healthcare segment initiatives by Walmart.
Healthcare is a BIG segment in U.S. World’s largest grocer’s entry into this segment is being viewed as a game-changing proposition for both Walmart and the U.S. healthcare system. We have created an easy for reference infographic to better understand- How Walmart is disrupting the healthcare?.
Understanding US Healthcare Segment
As per last estimates, US healthcare was estimated to be $3.24 trillion in 2015 and is projected to become $3.78 trillion by the year 2018. Hospital Care, Physician and Clinical Services, Dental Services, other professional services & Prescription Drugs make up 68% of the spending. Despite these enormous spendings, nearly 20% of Americans living in the rural areas don’t have sufficient access to primary care doctors. In U.S. Primary care services and Rx Drugs are amongst the costliest in the world.
Influence Of Walmart
Walmart is the world’s largest company in revenues with $485 billion in revenue in 2015 (fiscal year ending January 31, 2015). Walmart has about 11,000 stores in 27 countries. Walmart understands its potential influence in the healthcare market as an employer of 2.2 million people and a business serving 260 million-plus customers in its stores each week.
Healthcare Initiatives Of Walmart
Walmart has been present in healthcare clinical services since 2007 through its Retail clinics, however, its entry into primary health care makes it the serious contender in health care services.
- Improving Healthcare Access: Walmart has a vast rural network of stores, including the areas that are struggling to get the primary care. Walmart has the capability to expand its medical services rapidly in these and other locations to take advantage of the boom in patients resulting from the ACA. The new clinics are part of Walmart’s ongoing initiative to become nation's biggest primary care provider by expanding access and reducing prices for everyday customers.
- Cost-Effective Primary Care Services: Walmart is bringing its everyday low cost to healthcare by offering affordable pricing for Primary Care Services. Walmart charges a flat $40 fees for these services, and charges around $15 for most of the lab tests. Walmart associates and their family members who are on the company's health plan pay only $4 per visit.
- Affordable Medicines: Walmart is the only retailer in the U.S. that operates its own Pharmacies, Vision Centers, and Care Clinics. Walmart $ 4 prescription program is helping reduce the Rx drug cost for patients.
- Superior Healthcare Insurance: Walmart is working with DirectHealth.com to help customers identify their health insurance needs, compare coverage options and enroll in the plan in more than 2,400 Walmart stores, online and via phone. In recent comparisons, Walmart’s plan has been found to be more affordable for its associates, that provides significantly better access to high-quality medical care than Obamacare.
Walmart has taken decisive steps that are already disrupting the healthcare ecosystem. We will keep an eye on how this move impacts its Revenues and Profits in the long run.