Walmart Health on Thursday announced plans to expand into two additional states and open 28 new health centers by the end of 2024, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Arkansas, Iowa, New Mexico, and North Carolina.
- Arkansas: Walmart Health on Thursday announced plans to expand into two additional states and open 28 new health centers by the end of 2024. According to the announcement, the company will expand into Arizona and Missouri, with six centers in the Phoenix area and four in the Kansas City area. In addition, it plans to add 10 centers in the Dallas area and eight in metropolitan Houston, bringing the total number of centers to over 75 nationwide by the end of 2024. At Walmart Health's centers, which first opened in 2019, consumers can access primary care, dental, behavioral health, audiology, lab, X-ray, and telehealth services. The new centers will begin to open in the first quarter of 2024. According to Walmart, the facilities will have an updated layout that is less focused on the waiting room and integrated with technology used across all locations. "As we have from the beginning, we will continue to grow and adapt at a responsible pace to better serve the communities where we live and work. With these new locations, we will bring to life some of the feedback we've heard from listening to our patients," Walmart said in a news release. (Hudson, Modern Healthcare, 3/2)
- Iowa/New Mexico: Presbyterian Healthcare Services and UnityPoint Health on Thursday announced plans to merge — a move that would form an organization with roughly $11 billion in annual revenue. Once combined, the nonprofit organization would have 48 hospitals, a health insurance plan offered through Presbyterian, and 40,000 employees. The deal marks the latest consolidation of cross-state health systems as part of an effort to divide the costs related to managing technology, purchasing supplies, and workforce recruitment throughout a larger organization. Dale Maxwell, president and CEO of Presbyterian, and Clay Holderman, president and CEO of UnityPoint and former COO of Presbyterian, indicated that the merger presents an opportunity to reduce their administrative overhead by combining under a new parent company. (Kacik, Modern Healthcare, 3/2)
- North Carolina: Legislative leaders on Thursday announced that North Carolina will soon become the latest state to expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act. The state's hospital industry supports the expansion, which would cover an estimated 600,000 adults with incomes lower than 133% of the federal poverty level, roughly $19,391 annually for a single person. When a state expands Medicaid, the federal government provides 90% of the funds and states are responsible for the rest. "What a huge announcement this is for North Carolina. What a huge policy direction this is that's going to provide help for so many in this state, but it's going to do it in a way that's fiscally responsible," said North Carolina House of Representatives Speaker Tim Moore (R). (Berryman/Nzanga, Modern Healthcare, 3/2)