Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), the leading retail store chain of the U.S., is all set to revolutionize the healthcare industry, as it did eight years ago by dropping generic prescription drug prices to $4. The retailer opened its first Walmart Care Clinic in Dalton, Ga., which would cost only $40 for a regular doctor visit.
This new initiative from Wal-Mart is likely to bring down the cost of primary healthcare and the retailer chain operates more than a dozen clinics in rural Georgia, Texas, and South Carolina. The company has set a target of opening 17 more clinics this year and the most promising feature of these stores is its affordability. The company would offer doctor visit at half the industry rates, pregnancy test for $3, and cholesterol test at $8.
With its new low-cost primary healthcare services, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) is likely to ring a bell for major healthcare providers including CVS Health Corp (NYSE:CVS), Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG), and Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT). As of now, CVS Health Corp (NYSE:CVS) offers pregnancy test for $22 and cholesterol test for $69.
Jennifer LaPerre, Senior Director for health and wellness, Walmart US, said,
“It was very important to us that we establish a retail price in the health-care industry because price leadership matters to us.”
There are chances that Walmart Care Clinic may attract lower crowd considering its limited insurance partners including Medicaid for lower income group and Medicare for elderly in Georgia and South Carolina. The initiative has received an excellent response from analysts and Robin Shrek, Kantar Retail analyst, said,
“The cost of health care is opaque. This is very transparent and a very compelling proposition. It can be very disruptive to the marketplace.”
The CEO of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), Douglas McMillon, announced earlier that the retailer would try to end minimum wage pay in near future. He said,
“We only have a few thousand associates in the U.S., less than 6,000 of our 1.3 million associates in the U.S., that currently make a minimum wage and it is our intention over time that we will be in a situation where we don’t pay minimum wage at all.”
Wal-Mart is currently the largest private employer in the United States with nearly 1.3 million employees.
This article has been written by Prakash Pandey.