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Walmart will close its 51 health centers: everything you need to know about this announcement

walmart health centers
Walmart remains committed to health and wellness through its extensive network of nearly 4,600 Pharmacies and more than 3,000 Vision Centers

Walmart has announced the closure of all 51 of its health centers spread across five states, along with its Walmart Health Virtual Care services.

Launched in 2019, these centers were part of Walmart’s broader mission to make healthcare more accessible and affordable. However, escalating operating costs and a challenging reimbursement environment have led to a decision to shut down these facilities due to lack of profitability.

“While our mission to help people save money and live better remains, today we are sharing the difficult decision to close Walmart Health and Walmart Health Virtual Care. Through our experience managing Walmart Health centers and Walmart Health Virtual Care, we determined there is not a sustainable business model for us to continue”, said the Walmart’s Official Statement.

Impact on Communities and Employees

The closure of these health centers affects not only the patients who relied on them for care but also the associates and providers employed by Walmart. The company has acknowledged the profound impact this decision will have on the communities that supported the health centers and is committed to handling the transition with the utmost respect, compassion, and support.

Continuity of Care and Employee Transition

Walmart is focusing on ensuring continuity of care for its patients during this transitional period. All associates working at these centers are eligible to transfer to other Walmart or Sam’s Club locations.

They will receive compensation for 90 days post-announcement, and if they have not transferred or left the company within this period, they will be eligible for severance benefits. Healthcare providers will continue to serve existing patients while the clinics are operational and will also be compensated for the next 90 days, with transition payments available thereafter.

Shift in Healthcare Focus

Despite the closure of the health centers, Walmart remains committed to health and wellness through its extensive network of nearly 4,600 Pharmacies and more than 3,000 Vision Centers. These facilities have been a cornerstone of Walmart’s healthcare services for over 40 years, offering essential services like immunizations, testing, treatment, and health screenings, particularly in areas with a shortage of medical providers.

Future Health Initiatives

Walmart is not stepping back from the healthcare industry but is realigning its focus towards expanding its core businesses and innovating new services. This includes the growth of its optical business, with over 200 Vision Centers recently brought under Walmart ownership, and the launch of new tools like virtual try-on capabilities for glasses. The company also plans to enhance its healthcare services through initiatives like the Walmart Healthcare Research Institute and various health programs aimed at improving customer well-being.

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