Large retailers are poised to shake up the healthcare industry. With more than With 200 million weekly customers, Walmart may have the reach to do just that. Walmart’s interest in healthcare is nothing new.
“Walmart believes we have a right to disrupt healthcare. We do this by making all of our resources available, and our mission is to provide affordable, accessible, and people-centered care to all of our co-workers and the communities we serve, ”Dr. Cheryl Pegus, Executive Vice President of Health & Wellness at Walmart, said at HLTH yesterday.
“We have many assets, so if we believe that social determinants make up 40% of health care… personal behavior makes up another 30% of health care, and actual clinical care is only 20%. Of these 90% we believe that we have a right and can play in this area today. “
Pegus said people don’t want to spend a lot of time planning their health needs.
“We know, by the way, that people spend more time planning their vacation than accessing health care,” Pegus said. “The focus of access means we don’t have to stay in our private offices from 9 to 5, but actually provide healthcare the way people live.”
One area that Walmart is paying attention to is medically underserved communities (MUC). Pegus noted that Walmart has 4,000 stores in MUCs. The retail giant seeks to meet the needs of these communities through both access to health care and social determinants of health.
“When we think about social determinants, personal behavior, and clinical care, we don’t need doctors to do personal behavior and manage social determinants. So we employ and deploy community health workers to do much of this work, ”she said.
Walmart is also able to provide fresh food to individuals – which PegusNotes is one of the biggest unmet needs in the US. Working with community partners is also one of Walmartsmain strategies.
“In the USA we have around 1.5 million employees. You live in these communities. I just said that 4,000 of our stores are in medically underserved areas, ”Pegus said. “So the people who work at Walmart – they come from these communities, they are trusted in these communities. The way we work together is that we listen first. We listen to the needs of our own employees, work with leaders in the community, and then provide services. “
In 2019, Walmart announced it was expanding its presence in clinical care by opening centers in Texas and Georgia. Walmart does, however recentlymoved in digital healthcare. In May the company acquired Multi-specialty telehealth company MeMD. Just a year before it acquired the technology platform, patents, and “critical intellectual property” of digital drug management company CareZone.
“When you are in a medically underserved area, it’s not that you don’t want access to health care. It is not available. There are not enough healthcare professionals. When we look at these communities– and I mentioned earlier that we have a ton of access points–What we said is ‘How do we get them caring?’ not in five years if we build more clinics. “
Pegus called telemedicine an omnichannel access tool that can help patients get the right treatment, but it won’t completely replace a human.
Last month, Walmart announced that it would start using itEpics EHR at its centers in 2022. The company is offering this as an opportunity for patients to receive more personalized care across all specialties at Walmart, such as: B. Eyesight and Primary Care.
“Healthcare means that, from a strategic point of view, you offer an integrated experience. For this reason we put everything on an EMR platform. This is your omnichannel. Think about the consumer and how they like to have access to health care, and look at the things that really add to health care costs and affect quality of life and clinical outcomes.
“We believe value based care is the way to get there… so it seems pretty straightforward and straightforward to us… what we need and should be doing. … The innovation and what we focus on is really: How do we make it affordable and accessible? “