Walmart amps up its in-person clinic presence in Florida

The news: Walmart Health reportedly filed to open up seven of its one-stop health clinics (offering services like primary care, imaging, dental care, counseling, and lab tests) in locations across Northeast Florida, per Florida-based Jax Daily Record. This news follows Walmart’s reported slowdown of its original plan to open 4,000 clinics across the US after multiple C-suite execs left its healthcare business, according to Insider’s reporting.

But Walmart Health has been hiring, too: Walmart Health has been on an exec-hiring spree for the past few months—which means it’ll likely have the muscle to make headway in its clinic expansion plans.

  • Last month, Walmart Health hired a new senior vice president and CFO, Brian Setzer, previously at Highmark Health. Similarly, in July, Walmart Health named pharma industry leater John Wigneswaran, MD, as its new CMO.
  • As Walmart Health stabilizes its C-suite, it’ll likely focus on building out its recently acquired virtual clinic business MeMD. It will also focus on broadening its physical footprint: Although Walmart is slowing down construction on its clinics, it’s still planning to open up at least 22 this year, in addition to the 20 Walmart Health centers it already has, per Walmart.

Why Walmart’s clinics could succeed in Florida: Many Medicare-aged consumers with chronic conditions visit Walmart’s Florida retail stores regularly.

  • Florida has one of the largest Medicare populations (aged 65+) in the US: Medicare beneficiaries make up about 21% of Florida’s residents, per KFF’s tracking. For comparison, only 12% of Utah’s residents are on Medicare.
  • Seniors are some of Walmart’s most loyal shoppers, as 20% of its consumers are aged 65+. Its popularity with this consumer demographic works in Walmart’s favor, considering Medicare patients are the most likely to need regular and convenient access to care: Approximately 85% of older adults have at least one chronic condition, per the NIH.

What’s next? Walmart could use its brick-and-mortar presence in states like Florida to inform its senior shoppers about its new Walmart+ prescription discount program, which we posited could rival Amazon Pharmacy.

  • Walmart’s newly unveiled Walmart Rx+ for less program lets Walmart members bypass their insurance and access select medications at zero cost and purchase thousands of additional prescriptions at an 85% discount.
  • Walmart already offers a $4 generic medication program, but its Walmart+ pharmacy discount could appeal strongly to senior consumers searching for cheaper options for a broader range of meds. That’s because consumers are reporting higher-than-expected out-of-pocket costs, even after insurance discounts—and those costs aren’t going down anytime soon: Out-of-pocket healthcare spending is expected to rise by nearly 10% by 2026, per a recent Kalorama Information report.