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Wal-Mart Offers Medical Care in Retail Fashion

The Wal-Mart on South Campbell in Springfield has introduced a new alternative in health care. A new medical clinic inside the Wal-Mart offers a retail-like option for southwest Missouri residents in need of medical care. KSMU’s Nathan McVay traveled to the Superstore and has this report.

When people walk through the doors at Wal-Mart they are usually coming for a frozen pizza, or shampoo and conditioner or maybe laundry detergent. But for a select few they are walking through the doors to come to the Clinic at Wal-Mart. The Clinic at Wal-Mart is sponsored by CoxHealth and it is meant to give people an alternative to another health care facility.

“It’s very affordable pricing for people that might not have insurance, or even if they do, they do take medical plans as well. It’s just very affordable and not comparable to very many other clinics or health care agencies,” she said

That’s Dana Barnett. She’s a co-manager at the Wal-Mart on South Campbell. She says the health care facility provides even more convenience to shoppers in a Wal-Mart that already has a bank, a hair salon and a photo studio. “The strategy behind it is if a customer comes in here to shop that they can do a lot of their business for what they need in their life in this one location,” she said.

I am standing next to the line filled with eight people outside of the clinic at Wal-Mart; in front is a big board listing all the prices you may choose from. It ranges from a basic sports physical at $75 to a drug screening at $25 and even treatment for a common cold at $50. Cox officials say this is convenient because you always know what you are paying.

“When you go in, you know what the service is going to be and the patient knows what the service will be and the price is there and posted and that is what they will pay when they leave,” said David Taylor.

David Taylor is the vice president of Regional Services for Cox Health. He says the clinic, which opened on Monday, received a great response and larger numbers than expected.

“As we talked to people as they were leaving they seemed to be very satisfied with the convenience and the affordability,” he said.

Betty Barnhart lives in Springfield. She came to the clinic with her husband, Wayne, to see a doctor.

Wayne Barnhart says they chose to come to the Wal-Mart clinic due to the urgency of their situation.

“This takes care of an emergency, that you can’t get your appointment with your doctor soon, so this works great,” he said.

The Clinic at Wal-Mart is the first of its kind in Missouri. David Taylor of Cox Health says there are talks of adding more clinics to other Wal-Marts in Springfield, but no time table is set. For KSMU news, I’m Nathan McVay.