Walmart is shutting down all its health clinics. Here are some alternatives

The move comes just a month after Walmart said it wanted to expand its health care practice.
Written by Don Reisinger, Contributing Writer
Jacob Wackerhausen/Getty Images

Walmart has decided to get out of the medical clinic business after years of arguing that it could disrupt the health care industry.

On Tuesday, Walmart announced that the big box retailer will shutter all Walmart Health clinics that it operates across five states as well as Walmart Health Virtual Care. The company plans to close Walmart Health centers in the next 90 days to give patients the opportunity to find other providers over the next three months. Walmart Health providers will still be available to see existing patients while the clinics remain open.

"The decision to close all 51 health centers across five states and shut down the virtual care offering was not easy," Walmart said in a statement. "We understand this change affects lives -- the patients who receive care, the associates and providers who deliver care and the communities who supported us along the way."

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Walmart launched its Walmart Health clinics in 2019, promising to reinvent the US health care system. Walmart Health was designed to deliver lower-cost, but still high-quality health care, and offer patients an alternative to traditional doctors offices.

Walmart's decision to shutter its clinics is a surprise. Just a month ago, Walmart had touted its health care business and said that it planned to double the size of clinics it operates and would open 22 new locations just in 2024.

While Walmart didn't explain its quick change of heart, the company said that the business model wasn't "sustainable," and the clinics had a difficult time achieving profitability. "This is a difficult decision, and like others, the challenging reimbursement environment and escalating operating costs create a lack of profitability that make the care business unsustainable for us at this time," Walmart said in a statement.

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Still, Walmart isn't completely getting out of the health care industry: the company will still operate its nearly 4,600 pharmacies and nearly 3,000 vision centers across the US.    

If you're seeking health care services, however, you'll need to go elsewhere. Unfortunately, your prospects for finding a Walmart Health-like experience are bleaker than ever.

In March, for instance, Walgreens announced that 160 VillageMD clinics would be closing due to poor performance. Walgreens is the majority shareholder in VillageMD and invested more than $6 billion into the company on the prospect of lower-cost health care.

Next up, CVS Health has been operating its own MinuteClinic locations, with operations in just a handful of states, but they're by no means ubiquitous. Meanwhile, Amazon is the most bullish on the low-cost health care market after closing its $3.9 billion deal to acquire primary care provider One Medical in February 2023. That health care provider now operates more than 125 locations nationwide.

In addition to big brands, a handful of startups and not-for-profits also operate in the space. Kaiser Permanente closed its acquisition of Geisinger Health in April 2024 to jump into the value-based health care market. The company quickly renamed the service Risant Health and operates it as a nonprofit to pave the way for improved primary care. 

On the startup front, companies like Carbon Health, Oak Street Health, Rezilient Health, and Tia all provide primary care-type services to patients. With spotty availability, however, these startups don't tend to have the same scale as those operated by large corporations.

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