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Will Walmart save us?


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Old 04-25-2006, 10:56 PM
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If one company has the mindset to change it and the pocketbooks to implement it, it's Wal-mart.

I think this is going to be big! What's your view?

CNN - When Wal-Mart announced recently that it would open medical clinics in supercenters across the country, the news coverage went something like this: Get ready for a battle of the titans. America's most admired, most vilified, most shopped-at retailer is finally taking on the $2-trillion-a-year U.S. health-care market, a hulking giant just begging to be whipped into shape by Wal-Mart's vaunted efficiency and everyday low pricing. It's Ali vs. Foreman, Mothra meets Godzilla, right?

"The initial results on this launch were as good as any test we've done recently. We were seeing satisfaction rates over 90 percent," says Glenn Habern, Wal-Mart's senior vice president for new-business development. This being Wal-Mart, the company promptly stepped up the rollout. It had planned to open 12 clinics with four partners by the end of 2006. (The clinics are owned and operated by vendors; Wal-Mart merely leases them its valuable floor space.) In February it pledged to open 50 more by next January.

"It was pretty awesome," according to Dirk Thibodaux, a landscape architect who dropped by the RediClinic in Fayetteville, Ark., with an ear infection a few weeks back. Visiting his regular doctor, he figures, would have involved a midday appointment and a "minimum of two hours." For roughly the same cost as his regular co-payment, says Thibodaux, "I showed up at 7 A.M., got my diagnosis and prescription in 20 minutes, and wasn't even late for work."
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Old 04-26-2006, 12:36 AM
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I like the idea. Perhaps finally the health care costs will start to decrease. My only concern would be the quality of the service
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Old 04-26-2006, 02:49 AM
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That is something that has to be a concern.

More information on this.


NATIONAL CENTER FOR POLICY ANALYSIS
- With its recent announcement that it will open medical clinics in its super-centers, Wal-Mart is truly set to become the one-stop place to shop, says Rik Kirkland, Fortune senior-editor-at-large.

RediClinics ** which are staffed by nurse practitioners licensed to prescribe drugs ** offer a flat $45 fee for "Get Well" visits that include all the tests necessary to diagnose and prescribe for ailments like colds, flu, strep throat and pink eye, says Kirkland:

* If you're uninsured, like half of the clinic's customers, it's a big saving over the $95 that a doctor's visit would cost and a huge savings over the $400 an emergency room might charge.
* "Stay Well" screenings for basic preventive medicine ** like a blood test to determine a cholesterol profile with glucose ** only cost $29 instead of the retail price of $65.
* Even though Wal-Mart is only collecting rent money, it views the clinics as an important addition to its stores since they will boost the retail chain's appeal and help fulfill its self-proclaimed mission to be a champion for working families.
* This mix of transparent prices, electronic efficiency and convenient hours looks, for now at least, like a winning formula.
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Old 04-26-2006, 02:50 AM
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You can't beat that price of $45.00 though! I think this is going to be big.
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Old 04-26-2006, 02:56 AM
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My brother has used their vision center before, and he said that it's amazing and they do quality work.
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Old 04-26-2006, 02:58 AM
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How did the price differ for him? Was it a factor?
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Old 04-26-2006, 03:24 AM
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It was a big factor not only the price, but how fast they could service him
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