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Walmart to Close Health Centers, Telehealth Offering Amid ‘Lack of Profitability’

Walmart is shutting down its health centers and telehealth offering, saying there is not a sustainable business model for these operations to continue.

The company will close all 51 Walmart Health centers across five states and Walmart Health Virtual Care, Walmart said in a Tuesday (April 30) press release.

“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,” Walmart said in the release.

The company has not set a specific date for when each of these centers will close. Its provider partners will continue to serve existing patients until the centers close, according to the release.

Walmart will continue to offer other health and wellness services through its 4,600 Pharmacies and 3,000 Vision Centers, per the release.

“Our culture of innovating and trying new formats and services has helped our company become stronger and better able to serve customers,” Walmart said in the release. “We will continue to innovate as we grow our core businesses and launch even more services like the Walmart Healthcare Research Institute and health programs to join our fresh food and OTC [over-the-counter medicine] offerings in helping our customers live better.”

This marks a reversal from an announcement made by the retailer about its health centers three weeks ago. Walmart said April 10 that it planned to add 18 more Walmart Health centers in Texas this year alone.

About a year earlier, in March 2023, the retailer said it planned to add more than 75 new health centers by the end of 2024, more than doubling the number of centers it had in operation at that time.

The retailer launched its first Walmart Health center in 2019. Walmart said at the time that this Dallas, Georgia, health center would provide patients with low-cost, comprehensive care and would provide the retailer with experience that would inform operations in other such endeavors.

Walmart’s announcement that it is also closing its telehealth offering comes about a week after UnitedHealth Group confirmed a report that it is shutting down its Optum Virtual Care telehealth business.

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