NEW YORK (360Dx) – Quest Diagnostics and Wal-Mart Stores said today that they will provide laboratory testing services in about 15 Walmart locations in Florida and Texas by the end of this year.
The collaboration is part of a broader initiative aimed at providing expanded, co-branded access to healthcare services, and lowering their costs, Quest said. Over time, the firms expect to expand their offerings to include other basic healthcare services, the firm added.
Quest Chairman, President, and CEO Steve Rusckowski said in a statement that "by providing laboratory testing and healthcare services where people also shop, we will make it easier for Walmart customers and their associates to get the quality diagnostic insights they need in convenient locations."
George Riedl, senior vice president and president of Walmart Health and Wellness, said that the firm is "not only focused on providing accessible, affordable healthcare," but also working to extend its offerings and make its stores "a one-stop shop for [its] customers' everyday health and wellness needs."
Quest has been an advocate of providing patients with direct access to lab testing in Colorado, Missouri, and — through its Sonora Quest Laboratories joint venture — Arizona. The company also has a relationship with Safeway, and during the firm's first-quarter financial results conference call, Rusckowski said that Quest is on track to provide diagnostic testing services in 200 Safeway stores by the end of the year.
He added that the Safeway deal was the start of a consumer-focused strategy to work with such retailers in "a bigger way."
ISI Evercore analyst Ross Muken today said in a research note that while the Walmart deal "is small in scale it has the potential to grow into a more substantial relationship over time as Quest and Walmart test out the concept. … We expect the labs to continue their expansion into retail over the near- to medium term, and look for labs to announce additional partnerships."