Walmart Doesn’t Want You to Go to the DoctorAugust 29, 2023
Walmart wants to eliminate the long wait for a doctor’s appointment and the high cost of visiting them. It is expanding its in-house health care programs so you can drive to its stores to get medical treatment. The decision may even hurt the medical profession. (These companies have the worst reputations.)
Walmart pharmacists will play the role of doctors, no matter how unsettling that may seem. Walmart wants you to feel better fast. The company reported: “That’s why we’re proud to pioneer Testing and Treatment: a new program that lets Walmart pharmacists test customers for strep throat, the flu and COVID-19 – then help treat them – all in one place.” As COVID-19 begins to spread again and flu season approaches, Walmart seems to have timed the launch of its plan almost perfectly.
Walmart will start to provide the service in 12 states. The service will be available seven days a week. Few doctors can top that.
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Walmart decided to stretch the truthfulness of the argument for its new Testing and Treatment program. The nation’s largest retailer has repeatedly said that one of its stores is within 10 miles of 90% of the U.S. population. The new program is in only 12 states. Walmart has a long way to go before its program is “universal.”
And the Walmart plan is not as good as it seems in another way. No insurance, for now. People will need to pay cash, starting at $133 per visit. How high can the price per visit go? As high as that for visiting a doctor.
Walmart’s announcement is not nearly as good as it seems, not even close.
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