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09/27/2021

Walmart aims to help customers simply their healthcare with single, unified system

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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A new partnership with Epic will integrate Walmart’s healthcare services, including those offered in its Walmart Health locations.

Walmart continues to expand its healthcare partnerships.

The retail giant is partnering with health records system company Epic to integrate all of Walmart’s health and wellness lines of business – across channels. By creating a single, unified system, the retailer intends to engage patients, health care professionals, insurance carriers and other stakeholders in its Walmart Health offering through a unified portal. The Epic EMR platform will support all of Walmart’s health-and-wellness lines of businesses as it is rolled out and will first be implemented in four new Walmart Health Centers opening in Florida in early 2022.

[Read more: Walmart Health expands to Illinois; Florida is next]

The Epic online portal allows patients to securely access their health information, communicate with their providers, schedule appointments, and pay bills on their phone or computer. Walmart is collaborating with Epic on the heels of two significant healthcare technology acquisitions earlier in recent months.

In June 2021, Walmart acquired the technology platform, patents and intellectual property of CareZone, which developed an app that helps people manage their health information and medications. Individuals can also use the app to scan labels or insurance cards to speed and simplify the process.

CareZone, which also operates an online pharmacy that puts customers’ medications into pill packs and delivers them to patients via mail, will remain a separate company unrelated to Walmart. At the time of the acquisition, Walmart said CareZone would augment its current health & wellness capabilities and support its focus on the digital health care solutions process.

And in May 2021, Walmart announced it would acquire MeMD, a multi-specialty telehealth provider. The purchase will allow Walmart to expand its Walmart Health services by providing access to virtual care services across the nation. Walmart said the services, including urgent, behavioral and primary care, will complement its in-person Walmart Health store offering.

Meanwhile, chief Walmart rival Amazon has been expanding its on-demand telehealth service, Amazon Care, to its own employees and third-party partner companies since March 2021.

“Our vision to provide best-in-class health care, anywhere, anytime includes a seamless experience for our customers, health care professional partners and associates. Leveraging best-in-class partners like Epic and their technology platform will assist us in providing a unified health record across care settings, geographies and multiple sources of health data,” said Dr. Cheryl Pegus, executive VP, Walmart Health & Wellness. “The Epic system complements our omnichannel health care offerings — letting customers and health care professionals access care and health records to lead to more personalized care.”

“We’re excited to power Walmart’s vision to bring comprehensive, accessible health care to patients across the country,” said Alan Hutchison, VP of population health at Epic. “Across medical, dental and virtual care, patients will have a unified experience — both within Walmart Health clinics and as they move across the nation’s health care ecosystem. Providers will have new ways to collaborate with patients, payers and each other more effectively, so they can work cooperatively to manage a patient’s care journey.”

Walmart operates approximately 10,500 stores and clubs under 48 banners in 24 countries and e-commerce websites.