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04/28/2022

Walmart launches virtual diabetes care program

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Walmart is offering diabetes patients new telehealth treatment options.

Walmart continues to expand the scope of its online wellness practice.

The discount giant’s MeMD telehealth subsidiary is now providing the Walmart Health Virtual Care Diabetes Program. Available as a standalone or as part of a comprehensive medical and behavioral telehealth program, the Walmart Health Virtual Care Diabetes Program was developed for employers and insurance payors to close gaps in management of employees and members with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

The integrated telehealth solution merges personalized diabetes education with behavioral health awareness and counseling. As part of the program, members participate in an initial consultation with a licensed medical provider to discuss patient history, eating habits and other potential factors.

Using the consultation, the provider will look to identify gaps in care and depression risks, and schedule a follow-up visit with licensed behavioral health therapists to address each area with a focus on mental health management.

Additionally, consumers can receive necessary vaccinations, low-cost insulin and diabetes medications at more than 4,600 Walmart pharmacies nationwide. Consumers are also educated about optional directed spend benefits for items such as at-home diabetes management equipment and healthy food.

Walmart actively expands in online health space
Walmart has been actively expanding its presence as an online provider of wellness products and services. The discount giant recently rolled out two new, exclusive online wellness offerings on its Walmart Wellness Hub – a caregiver support telehealth program and a vitamin subscription plan.

In January 2022, Walmart extended a partnership with clinical laboratory Quest Diagnostics to enable consumers to purchase from an assortment of more than 50 different tests, including general health, digestive health, allergy, heart health, women's health and infectious disease.

This new collaborative offering followed a pilot of drone delivery of at-home COVID-19 self-collection kits Walmart ran with Quest Diagnostics and nationwide drone services provider DroneUp in North Las Vegas in September 2020. 

In addition, Walmart is partnering with health records system company Epic to integrate all of the retailer’s health and wellness lines of business – across channels. By creating a single, unified system, Walmart intends to engage patients, health care professionals, insurance carriers and other stakeholders in its Walmart Health offering through a unified portal.

And in June 2021, Walmart acquired the technology platform, patents and intellectual property of CareZone, which developed an app that helps people manage their health information and medications. Individuals can also use the app to scan labels or insurance cards to speed and simplify the process.

“Walmart Health collaborated with the American Diabetes Association to bring this evidence-based virtual program to fruition,” said Dr. John Wigneswaran, MD, Walmart chief medical officer. “Our aim is to empower patients with the most up-to-date diabetes education and clinical care so they can take control of their health. Our program focuses on a patient’s physical and mental health, which also helps employers maintain healthier workforces and drive down overall healthcare costs.”

 “Diabetes is the third most common chronic condition in the nation, yet despite being highly manageable, it requires a concerted daily effort by patients to control a host of variables from managing blood glucose and insulin delivery to staying on top of blood pressure and cholesterol levels,” said Dr. David Carmouche, Walmart senior VP of omnichannel care. “Through the Walmart Health Virtual Care Diabetes Program, our goal is to help break down barriers to effective care management in a way that empowers patients to take charge of their wellness.”

Learn more about the Walmart Health Virtual Care Diabetes Program.