Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) is on a spree to cut its costs and one of the dominant areas those cuts will be coming from is healthcare. It was revealed recently that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) will be opening ‘Wal-Mart Care Clinics’, which will essentially be primary health clinics located inside of Walmart stores. The company has already launched a pilot program in some southern states for these health clinics, where associates on a Wal-Mart health plan can have a routine check-up for only $4. Scott Gottlieb of American Enterprise Institute discussed the cost cutting measures by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) in healthcare and the kind of services these clinics will offer on CNBC.
“Well, there are two different models for these clinics. One is the retail clinics like the mini-clinics and others are the clinics being started by employers. They are both, I think, being potentiated by healthcare reforms. Some of the forces set in motion by healthcare reform. You know people are exposed to much higher health plans now, so, they want to go to these retail clinics because they are less costly […],” Gottlieb said.
Gottlieb mentioned that on the employers’ side, he is witnessing employers getting self-insured in order to manage their costs in a much more aggressive way, that’s why the employers are putting these clinics onsite. He feels that one can visit these clinics for routine things like vaccinations or throat culture, instead of going to a physician. Gottlieb added that most of the clinics that employers are going to open onsite, will supplant doctors by having a staff of only physicians and nurses.
He also revealed that different clinics will have different kind of staff and the Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) clinics are most likely to have only nurse practitioners. According to Gottlieb, there are a lot of things for which people go to doctors, which can be as well handled by nurses.