Walmart (NYSE: WMT) is preparing to expand its health care offering into dozens of news states, according to Business Insider. Specifically, the retail giant has filed paperwork to do business in a total of 37 states, where it is interested in providing telehealth in the future, the publication reported.
The move could vastly expand the company’s behavioral health footprint — that is, if the retail giant opts to leverage tele-mental health offerings as part of the expansion.
Walmart launched its medical group Walmart Health back in 2019. It currently operates about 20 medical clinics in Arkansas, Georgia, and Illinois, and it also recently announced plans to open Walmart Health clinics in Florida.
The centers offer various medical, behavioral and dental services to individuals ages 6 and up. Unlike at most health care clinics, Walmart Health lists its pricing on billboards at the front of each center. The goal is to make health care more affordable and convenient.
On the behavioral health front, Walmart has teamed up with Beacon Health Options to achieve those goals. At Walmart Health clinics, Beacon serves patients who are experiencing mild-to-moderate mental health issues, with a focus on depression, anxiety, grief and relationship problems.
Walmart’s stated interest in telehealth comes after the retail giant announced the acquisition of the multi-specialty virtual care provider MeMD in early May. A Walmart spokesperson alluded to the pending transaction — and Walmart’s business expansion filings — in a recent email to Business Insider.
“We’ve expressed our interest in offering telehealth via an acquisition that is pending regulatory clearance, and these filings are related to that effort, not physical Walmart Health locations,” the spokesperson told the publication.
Founded in 2010, MeMD provides 24/7 virtual care to millions of members nationwide. In addition to urgent care, men’s health and women’s health, the company also provides virtual therapy and psychiatry services to users, which Walmart will presumably leverage after the transaction closes and it expands into new states via telehealth.
In fact, the retail giant said as much in a press release announcing the MeMD acquisition. Specifically, it said the deal will allow Walmart Health to “provide access to virtual care across the nation including urgent, behavioral and primary care, complementing our in-person Walmart Health centers.”