The Walmart in Calhoun, Georgia is testing the waters for a nationwide healthcare program, that would only charge people $30 for a checkup, without insurance.
The city, about 70 miles outside of Atlanta, has a population of 16,000, which makes it a perfect area to roll out the new program to see if it will work.
Personally, I think this is awesome. While I am not sure how people feel about getting their healthcare from Walmart, I do believe this will pave the way for more private companies to step forward and create a lower cost competitive field.
At "Walmart Health," which has a separate entrance next door to a massive Walmart Supercenter, patients can see doctors for routine checkups and ongoing treatment of such chronic illnesses as diabetes and heart disease, even if they lack health insurance. They can also get lab work, X-rays, dental care, behavioral health counseling, eye and hearing exams, and access other services. The bill for an annual checkup for an adult is $30 without insurance, an eye exam is $45 and dental exams cost $25. Therapy sessions are $60.
Walmart, America's largest retailer, opened the facility in January. It's only one of two in the country. The first, in Dallas, Georgia, another exurb of Atlanta, opened in September.
I am actually from Dallas, Georgia and my parents and siblings still live there. I am curious to see how it holds up!
"Health care looks like a big opportunity," Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said.
Walmart Vice President of Health and Wellness Transformation Marcus Osbore said in an interview that many of the patients they are seeing are people who have not been to a primary care doctor or dentist in several years. For some, it's the first time they have seen a mental health counselor.
"What we're finding is all comers," he said. "Unfortunately, the need is everywhere" in our country.
Would you go to Walmart to see a doctor? It sounds like that will be a reality in the near future.
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