The transaction will expand Walmart’s telehealth offerings nationwide, providing urgent, behavioral and primary care, the company said. Walmart already offers healthcare services in many of its stores through in-person clinics. The retailer also has some health centers that offer more advanced areas of care, from primary and urgent care, labs, x-ray and diagnostics, counseling, dental, optical and hearing services.
Walmart’s acquisition of MeMD is a big defensive move against Amazon, which has also been gearing up in the healthcare space and is set to take over as the world’s largest retailer in the next few years, in terms of revenue. Amazon recently announced its own plans to expand into telehealth with Amazon Care. The service will first reach Amazon’s nearly one million employees this summer before expanding to the general public later.
“Telehealth offers a great opportunity to expand access and reach consumers where they are and complements our brick-and-mortar Walmart Health locations,” Dr. Cheryl Pegus, executive vice president, Health & Wellness of Walmart, said in a statement. “Today people expect omnichannel access to care, and adding telehealth to our Walmart Health care strategies allows us to provide in-person and digital care across our multiple assets and solutions.”
The acquisition is expected to close in the coming months. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Our Health & Wellness mission is to focus on the consumer’s seamless experience and improved health,” Pegus said. “We are excited to welcome MeMD employees to the Walmart family, and we are looking forward to together accelerating health care access across the country.”
MeMD was founded in 2010 by Dr. John Shufeldt and delivers medical and mental health care to millions of members nationwide.
“We’ve achieved incredible strides in making health care available to individuals and businesses around the country through our easy, affordable and intuitive online platform. We can’t imagine a better partner than Walmart as we are both committed to innovative health care delivery and bringing affordable, high-quality care to as many people as possible,” said MeMD CEO Bill Goodwin. “MeMD’s mission fits perfectly with Walmart’s dedicated focus to help people save money and live better, and now we can impact millions more by being part of Walmart.”