Walmart is going all in on 24/7/365 telehealth
Walmart announced yesterday that it has acquired MeMD, a telehealth company offering nationwide virtual medical and mental healthcare services. The move is just the latest in a series of steps that the retailing giant has taken to become a player of significance in the market.
The move will enable Walmart in the months to come the ability to offer virtual care across the country and serve as a complement to the company’s in-person Walmart Health centers. The move is intended to increase lower cost access for the chain’s associates and customers in keeping with Walmart’s strategic branding mission.
“Today people expect omnichannel access to care, and adding telehealth to our Walmart Health care strategies allows us to provide in-person and digital care across our multiple assets and solutions,” Dr. Cheryl Pegus, executive vice president, Health & Wellness for Walmart, said in a statement. “Our Health & Wellness mission is to focus on the consumer’s seamless experience and improved health.”
MeMD was founded in 2010 by Dr. John Shufeldt to provide virtual care nationwide 24/7/365. The company provides medical and mental healthcare visits to millions of members nationwide.
“We’ve achieved incredible strides in making health care available to individuals and businesses around the country through our easy, affordable and intuitive online platform. We can’t imagine a better partner than Walmart as we are both committed to innovative healthcare delivery and bringing affordable, high-quality care to as many people as possible,” said MeMD CEO Bill Goodwin. “MeMD’s mission fits perfectly with Walmart’s dedicated focus to help people save money and live better.”
The deal with MeMD is expected to put Walmart in a position to compete with other retailers including Amazon.com, CVS, Kroger, Rite Aid and Walgreens that are all offering on location or telehealth options for their customers.
Walgreens announced a deal last summer with VillageMD to open between 500 and 700 primary care doctor’s offices in its stores over the next five years. The clinics known as “Village Medical at Walgreens” will occupy between 3,300- and 9,000-square-feet depending on the store location.
CVS, which has been among the most aggressive movers in this space with its MinuteClinic in-store clinics, announced that it was expanding a pilot program offering mental health and counseling services from 17 locations to 34 in July.
- Walmart Health to Acquire Telehealth Provide MeMD – Walmart
- Will CVS make a breakthrough as it expands in-store mental health services? – RetailWire
- Will doctors prove a cure-all for Walgreens competitive ills? – RetailWire
- Amazon tests program to take better care of employees’ health – RetailWire
- Expanding Well-being Services to Further Support Our Associates – Walmart
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see healthcare operations becoming a more important element in the sales and profit growth of retailers in the years ahead? What will Walmart’s acquisition of MeMD mean for the retailer and its rivals in the retail healthcare services space?