Walmart denies exploring primary care healthcare platform

Bentonville, Ark. -- According to a Request for Information released Tuesday and reported by Kaiser Health News, Walmart is in the process of piecing together a comprehensive low-cost primary care healthcare platform.

However, Walmart later denied this report in a statement released to the public on Wednesday. "The RFI statement of intent is overwritten and incorrect. We are not building a national, integrated, low-cost primary care healthcare platform," stated John Agwunobi, senior VP and president of Walmart U.S. health and wellness.

The request reportedly stated that "Walmart intends to build a national, integrated, low-cost primary care healthcare platform that will provide [preventive] and chronic care services that are currently out of reach for millions of Americans."

Many of those offerings already are available at select Walmart locations replete with a retail clinic partner. Several retail clinic operators already have begun incorporating more chronic disease state management and diagnostic services into their practice, where appropriate, according to a panel of retail executives hosted by the Convenient Care Association earlier this month. And many of those services are being ceded to the retail clinics by their healthcare system partners because of the healthcare cost synergies that can be realized.

Walmart spokeswoman Tara Raddohl earlier this week confirmed the proposal, Kaiser Health News reported, but declined to elaborate on specifics, calling it simply an effort to determine "strategic next steps."

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