A big thanks goes out to the 89 respondents to our "Walmart as a Primary Care Provider" survey that we ran this past Monday. While clearly not scientific, it generated some great responses and elicited some meaningful comments on both the HD Insights Blog and within individual LinkedIn groups where it ran.
We will continue to leave the survey open for a few more weeks to gather more information. Here are the results as of 8/29/14. Survey Says...
Question 1: What is your initial reaction to Walmart entering the primary care provider market? (n=87)
34%: Somewhat Positive
22%: Somewhat Negative
15%: Extremely Negative
8%: Extremely Positive
Question 2: Which of the following scenarios describes your STRONGEST thought on Walmart's primary care clinics? (n=88)
25%: I don't see any difference between Walmart and other commercial "minute clinics" (i.e CVS, Walgreens, etc.)
21%: This may be fine for well visits, but I don't think this is a proper venue for chronic conditions.
20%: I'm in favor as long as this improves access to health care in rural communities
20%: I question the qualilty of care provided by Walmart
8%: This will negatively impact local primary care providers.
3%: (Please select this option if you cannot strongly identify with the previous six options.)
1%: This is of absolutely no concern to me.
Survey Comments"The real issue will be quality of their care, and the market they will be attractive to. If they have low income folks using the stores, $40 may still be too high. Not sure I want to seek health care in a Walmart."
"I think it is a wonderful idea! It will help to get the patients closer to they're providers!" "Our market has this service offered at a local grocery store. My worry is not only in regard to quality standards but also infection control. What happens during flu season? What safeguards are in place to protect the healthy patients who see this clinic?"
"I am in favor of increased access to healthcare in whatever form it is. I am however concerned about how to effectively manage populations especially chronic conditions. It seems that without a good foundation for care coordination we just have established an increased route that may reduce urgent care and ED visits but without an increase in care coordination and outcomes. What role will these areas play in population health?"
"It would be greatly beneficial if a variety of affordable diagnostic tests were also available. POS testing devices are available for this purpose. Many devices provide results within minutes."
"Access to initial screening tests and exams at low cost is a big plus; BUT the key would be referral to medical providers equipped to deal with the chronic conditions that the potential patient base is likely to present. - Former NYS Director of Regulatory Affairs (retired)"