Walmart Is Shutting Health Centers After Plan to Expand

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, said Tuesday that it was shutting down its health care centers, a network that only last year it said it planned to expand.

The retailer said in a blog post that its 51 health centers would close. The centers were next to Supercenter locations. The plans won’t affect the more than 4,600 pharmacies and more than 3,000 vision centers within Walmart stores.

Walmart started the health-care clinic initiative in 2019 in Dallas, Ga., with centers providing primary care, labs, X-rays and electrocardiograms, counseling, and dental, optical and hearing services. Many were in smaller towns where customers might lack access to quality care, and the company had said it was focused on affordability. In 2021, Walmart started offering a virtual option when it acquired MeMD, a telehealth provider.

“This is a difficult decision, and like others, the challenging reimbursement environment and escalating operating costs create a lack of profitability that make the care business unsustainable for us at this time,” the company said Tuesday.

The company said it was still deciding when it would close each center.

In March 2023, Walmart said it planned to double its health center locations. It said that by the end of 2024, it expected to have more than 75 Walmart Health Centers and expand to states like Missouri and Arizona.

Workers within the centers will be paid for 90 days and will be eligible to transfer to other Walmart or Sam’s Club locations, the company said Tuesday.

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