- Walmart Health on Tuesday announced a new Healthcare Research Institute
- The initiative aims to involve members of traditionally underrepresented communities in healthcare trials and studies
- Walmart Health opened its first Florida location earlier this year, with a total of five now operational across the state
Walmart Health announced on Tuesday that it is establishing a Healthcare Research Institute, coming just months after entering the Florida Market.
The research initiative, according to the company, aims to expand community access to patient services, which may lead to safer, higher-quality, and more egalitarian healthcare principles.
The Research Institute will focus on interventions and medications which can make a difference in underrepresented communities, particularly the inclusion of members from such communities in studies on chronic conditions and innovative treatments.
“At Walmart, we want to help ensure all our customers have access to high quality, affordable, and convenient healthcare resources, including innovative research,” said Dr. John Wigneswaran, Walmart’s Chief Medical Officer. “We know our customers are interested in participating in healthcare research, but many have not had access until now. We are already making an impact for our customers and for medical research, by raising patient trust and engagement in their care.”
According to Walmart, it is collaborating with a variety of study partners, including clinical research organizations, pharmaceutical firms, and prominent university medical institutes. The Research Center says that in its initial research, it obtained a referral rate three times greater than the industry norm.
Walmart’s move comes as the FDA and the Biden administration aim to improve drug development and patient health outcomes by enrolling more Americans from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups in clinical trials.
Walmart in April expanded into Florida with its health clinics, Walmart Health. According to Walmart, Walmart Health provides “low, transparent pricing for key healthcare services, regardless of insurance status.” The centers will employ physicians, nurse practitioners, dentists, counselors, and optometrists.
Its facilities include full-service primary and urgent care, laboratories, x-ray and diagnostic services, counseling, dentistry, optical, and hearing treatments all in one location.
Walmart Health also offers specialized community health services, online education, and in-store programs to educate the public on preventative health and well-being.
Last month, Walmart announced a corporate partnership with UnitedHealth Group. The agreement covers a 10-year collaboration beginning in 2023 to provide preventive care to senior citizens and virtual healthcare services for all age groups.
Walmart’s collaboration with UnitedHealth will focus on prevalent conditions among the elderly, such as heart disease and diabetes.
When it begins in January, the cooperation will first provide elder healthcare at 15 Walmart Health facilities in Florida and Georgia. An emphasis will be placed on value-based healthcare, which is a concept under which hospitals and doctors’ offices get paid for the services they offer through various Medicare Advantage plans.