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Walmart Health Dips Its Toes Into Care Coordination, Patient Engagement

A Walmart Health deal with Orlando Health will let the two providers streamline care coordination across both health systems.

Walmart Health has unveiled two new partnerships aimed and improving the patient experience, the first of which includes collaboration with Orlando Health set up to improve care coordination and patient engagement.

The second partnership is with Ambetter from Sunshine Health, a health insurance provider on the Florida health insurance marketplace.

The deals signal a move toward improving patient access to affordable healthcare, while still streamlining the overall patient experience across disparate providers, Walmart said.

In its deal with Orlando Health, Walmart Health will work to ensure continuity of care between Walmart Health and Orlando Health care sites. The pair will streamline transitions of care between both organizations to create a longitudinal patient experience that ideally improves clinical outcomes.

Poor care coordination is one of the main downsides of retail health, outside experts have said. Although retail clinics like those offered via Walmart Health can offer more convenient care access, there isn’t always a link back to a patient’s primary care provider or medical home.

This partnership sets out to ameliorate that issue by creating a connection between Walmart Health and Orlando Health.

“By collaborating with Walmart Health and focusing on care coordination in the shared patient populations, we’ll be better positioned to more quickly identify patient needs and improve outcomes together in the Orlando area,” Cary D’Ortona, senior vice president at Orlando Health and president at Orlando Health Medical Group, said in a statement.

These efforts come on top of the industry’s move toward value-based care, which hinges on coordinated approaches to patient care management.

“Value-based outcomes are a community effort, and it is a natural evolution to work closely with other providers in the community that have shared goals,” Eric Prochnow, a senior director of clinical network partnerships at Walmart, said in the press release. “With Orlando Health as a partner, we look forward to offering a more streamlined service for our Orlando-area Walmart Health patients in support of community wellness.”

Walmart is doubling down on efforts to improve care access by partnering with Ambetter from Sunshine Health, which operates out of Centene Corporation, as a preferred provider in Clay, Duval, Hillsborough, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, and Seminole counties.

“We continue to look for ways to make health care even more accessible to the communities we serve,” Richard Fuchs, senior vice president of sales, strategy, and innovation at Walmart, stated publicly.

“Both Walmart Health and Ambetter Health share a focus on serving local communities, and this collaboration will enable more Floridians to access care,” Fuchs added. “We’re excited to offer Ambetter from Sunshine Health members quality care in one location, conveniently located adjacent to Walmart Supercenters where many members already shop for groceries and everyday essentials.”

Walmart Health Clinics function like other retail health providers, with a total of 23 locations throughout Florida. The clinics offer primary care, labs, x-rays and EKG, behavioral health, dental, some specialty services, and community health in one facility, the company says.

Ambetter from Sunshine Health executives said this partnership will help the health plan improve patient access to care.

“Centene’s mission is to transform the health of the communities we serve, one person at a time,” Kevin Counihan, the CEO of Ambetter Health, said in the press release. “By working together with Walmart Health in Florida, we are well-positioned to help deliver quality, affordable health care options in new locations across the state. Ultimately, this will broaden access to care for more Floridians through Ambetter from Sunshine Health.”

This builds on previous collaboration between Walmart and Ambetter from Sunshine Health earlier this year to help expand public awareness about Medicaid redetermination and to expand marketplace health insurance within Walmart Health clinics.

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