BENTONVILLE, Ark., Feb. 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Wal-Mart today announced that its first co-branded in-store clinics will open in Atlanta, Little Rock and Dallas under "The Clinic at Wal-Mart" brand. These clinics -- the first of which is expected to open in April -- will be connected to their communities via local hospitals that Wal-Mart's customers already know and respect.
Today's announcement is the first step towards opening 400 co-branded convenient clinics by 2010 and further proof of Wal-Mart's commitment to providing affordable, accessible solutions to America's healthcare challenges. Wal-Mart expects "The Clinic at Wal-Mart" to become synonymous with quality healthcare at affordable prices, provided by trusted, local providers.
Wal-Mart has signed a letter of intent to work with RediClinic, LLC and local hospital systems to open co-branded walk-in clinics in 200 Wal-Mart Supercenters. Wal-Mart has also signed a letter of intent to partner directly with St. Vincent Health System, a part of the Catholic Healthcare Initiatives system, to open four co-branded clinics in Little Rock.
"We know that America's healthcare challenges are larger than any one corporation, but we're committed to doing our part to expand access to quality, affordable healthcare -- our commitment to partnering with local hospital systems is evidence," said Dr. John Agwunobi, Wal-Mart's senior vice president and president, health and wellness. "Throughout our convenient clinics pilot, customers told us that we are providing a service that benefits their communities. We are confident that our new model of partnership with hospital systems will provide access to quality healthcare services for folks who don't want to wait in a busy emergency room or can't get in to see their physician."
"The Clinic at Wal-Mart, owned and operated by St. Vincent Health System" is expected to open in Little Rock by the end of April, as will "The Clinic at Wal-Mart owned and operated by RediClinic" in association with a local hospital system in Atlanta. By the summer of 2008, Wal-Mart also expects to open co-branded clinics with RediClinic and a local hospital system in Dallas.
"Our vision of the future is to transform healthcare for our community," said Peter Banko, St. Vincent Health System's president and chief executive officer. "We work every day towards that vision and the clinics that we will operate in Wal-Mart Supercenters will be a great solution for patients who come to us for health and healing."
"Wal-Mart Supercenters are a great venue for RediClinic and its healthcare system partners because there are millions of customers in these stores every day who need easier access to the high quality, affordable healthcare that we provide," said Web Golinkin, chief executive officer of RediClinic, LLC.
The Clinics at Wal-Mart will offer a limited set of affordably-priced Get Well and Stay Well services. Each clinic will operate seven days a week and feature a consistent, innovative design. They will also feature prominent signage in keeping with Wal-Mart's price transparency promise -- a key aspect that requires operators to post pricing for the services and treatments offered so patients know what their costs will be up front.
With data showing that 55 percent of its in-store clinic patients are uninsured, Wal-Mart is committed to enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of our health care system by working with operators who provide a specific set of services to adults and children over age two, including:
-- Treatment of common ailments such as sore throats, sinus infections,
earaches, and bladder infections.
-- Preventive care, including health screenings, medical tests,
vaccinations, and basic physical exams.
-- Standard electronic medical records for clinic patients that eliminate
the need for paper records via an electronic records platform employed
by all new clinics operating in Wal-Mart stores.
-- Patient care delivered by licensed, certified providers who diagnose,
treat, and when appropriate, prescribe medications.
To further increase the affordability of their services, The Clinics at Wal-Mart operated by both RediClinic and St. Vincent plan to accept health insurance plans including Aetna, Humana, Blue Cross Blue Shield and others.
For more information on Wal-Mart's convenient clinic initiative and The Clinics at Wal-Mart, visit http://www.walmart.com/clinics.
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart discount stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and Sam's Club locations in the United States. The Company operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom. Wal-Mart serves more than 176 million customers weekly in 14 markets. The Company's securities are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol WMT. For more information: http://www.walmartfacts.com.
About RediClinic LLC
Since 1989, RediClinic (formerly known as InterFit Health) has provided people with easy access to high-quality, affordable healthcare services. Today the company is the largest independent convenient care operator in the United States, and its RediClinic Services unit is a leading provider of health-related events that are implemented in retail outlets and employer worksites nationwide. For more information, visit http://www.rediclinic.com.
About St. Vincent Health System
St. Vincent Health System, founded in 1888, is one of Arkansas' leading health systems. It is comprised of four hospitals, a network of primary care clinics, a home health agency and numerous other ventures and entities. St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center, an acute care facility, licensed for 615 beds, located in Little Rock, serves as the hub of the health system. Other St. Vincent hospitals include St. Vincent Doctors Hospital, licensed for 252 beds, in Little Rock; St. Vincent Medical Center/North, licensed for 69 beds, in Sherwood; and St. Anthony's Medical Center, licensed for 35 beds, in Morrilton. St. Vincent Health System, with more than 2,800 employees and affiliations with more than 650 physicians, is sponsored by Catholic Health Initiatives. Catholic Health Initiatives is a national not-for-profit health care network. For more information, visit http://www.StVincentHealth.com.
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