From: Reuters
Published February 7, 2008 01:02 PM

Wal-Mart to open co-branded in-store clinics

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc said on Thursday that it will begin opening co-branded in-store medical clinics under the name "The Clinic at Wal-Mart."

Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, said it expects to open 400 co-branded clinics by 2010, with the first such clinics opening in Atlanta, Little Rock, Arkansas, and Dallas.

Last year, Wal-Mart said it planned to open as many as 400 in-store health clinics in the next two to three years, and that number could jump to 2,000 nationwide in five to seven years.

The clinics provide basic preventative and health services -- like cholesterol screenings or treatment for sore throats.

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But the clinics that Wal-Mart had been opening in its stores did not have the Wal-Mart name. The retailer had been leasing the space in its stores to outside operators.

Wal-Mart said on Thursday that it signed a letter of intent to work with RediClinic LLC and local hospital systems to open co-branded walk-in clinics in 200 Wal-Mart Supercenters.

It also said it signed a letter of intent to partner with St. Vincent Health System to open four co-branded clinics in Little Rock.

Wal-Mart said "The Clinics at Wal-Mart" operated by RediClinic and St. Vincent plan to accept health insurance plans including Aetna, Humana and Blue Cross Blue Shield.

(Reporting by Nicole Maestri, editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Dave Zimmerman)

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