Rx: Wal-Mart's Healthcare Plan - $50 Office Visits, But Those Unable to Pay Will Be Treated Anyway
BANGOR, Maine — Coming soon to a Wal-Mart near you: walk-in health care. In Bangor, Monday marked the first day of business at The Clinic at Wal-Mart in the recently opened Stillwater Avenue Supercenter. Additional clinics will open in coming months at stores in Brewer, Palmyra and Presque Isle. Although Arkansas-based Wal-Mart has in-store clinics in many other states, the four northern Maine clinics announced Monday are the first in Maine.
Clinicians at the Wal-Mart clinics — nurse practitioners and physician assistants — can perform physical exams for participation in sports, administer tetanus shots and flu vaccines, and test for high blood sugar, strep throat, urinary tract infections and pregnancy. They will prescribe some medications, but not narcotics or psychoactive drugs.
No appointments are accepted. Patients who have to wait to be seen and are well enough to shop will be issued an electronic pager to alert them when one of the two exam rooms is available. The clinics will be open seven days a week, including some evening hours.
The Clinic at Wal-Mart accepts all insurance coverage as well as MaineCare and Medicare. Those paying cash will be charged $50 for a standard office visit, and more for any testing or vaccines. Those unable to pay will be treated and referred to Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems' charity care office to arrange discounts or installment billing.