At the Carrollton, Texas, Walmart Supercenter, customers can now add a therapy session to a grocery run.
The clinic, which rolled out this week, is a pilot program run by Boston-based behavioral health provider Beacon Health Options; the company is leasing space inside the Supercenter. In it, it’s offering therapy sessions for customers for depression, anxiety and stress, grief and relationships. The program is an indirect way Walmart can extend its reach into healthcare, building on moves earlier this year, including a tie-up with health insurer Anthem, launched in August, to improve over the counter drug access for seniors, and reports of early-stage acquisition talks with Humana, a health insurance company, in March.
Christina Mainelli, chief growth officer at Beacon Health Options, said the company is using a retail footprint to apply a consumer-influenced approach to how it offers the services. These include the ability to serve customers beyond normal working hours, as well as ways to reach providers beyond physical meeting spaces, including through Skype and from next year onwards, text messaging. Walmart and Beacon Health Options won’t share customer data as part of the arrangement.