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Sam’s Club is giving its members a new way to see the doctor – virtually.
The Walmart-owned warehouse club chain announced a partnership with Seattle-based virtual primary care provider 98point6 Tuesday to provide members with an exclusive introductory fee and quarterly subscription.
Sam’s Club members with either a Club or Plus membership level can sign up for a quarterly subscription to 98point6’s telehealth virtual clinic via a text-based app for $20 per participant for the first three months, $10 less than 98point6’s regular sign-up fee of $30.
With the subscription, unlimited virtual visits are $1 each with “access to U.S. board-certified doctors 24 hours a day and seven days a week,” the retailer said in a news release.
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The quarterly subscription costs increase to $33.50 every three months per participant after the first three months. Outside of Sam’s Club, 98point6 offers annual subscriptions.
Pediatric care for additional subscribed members ages 1 and up also is available.
“Offering access to telemedicine was on our roadmap in the pre-COVID world, but the current environment expedited the need for this service to be easily accessible, readily available and most of all, affordable,” John McDowell, Sam’s Club vice president for pharmacy operations and divisional merchandise, said in the release.
McDowell said that through providing access to the 98point6 app in a pilot, officials “quickly realized that our members were eager to have mobile telehealth options and we wanted to provide this healthcare solution to all of our members as a standalone option.”
According to the release, the subscription to the 98point6 app provides access to physicians to diagnose and treat more than 400 common conditions like rash, cough and cold, flu-like symptoms, seasonal allergies and also provides “care, guidance, and monitoring of chronic conditions like diabetes, asthma, heart disease, depression, and anxiety.”
Members using the 98point6 app can get prescriptions and labs ordered, Sam’s Club said.
“The new subscription offering through 98point6 is a strategic addition to many other high-quality services at a value from Sam’s Club,” the release said, noting the “subscription is not health insurance.”
Walmart piloting drone delivery of COVID-19 tests
Walmart announced Tuesday it was piloting another drone delivery test after recently announcing two other drone pilots. With the new pilot, the retail giant is piloting drone delivery of at-home COVID-19 self-collection kits with Quest Diagnostics.
In a blog post, Tom Ward, Walmart’s senior vice president of customer products, said Walmart has partnered with Quest and DroneUp, a nationwide drone services provider, “to launch trial deliveries of collection kits” in North Las Vegas starting Tuesday and in Cheektowaga, New York, in early October.
“Patients who qualify for drone delivery of the COVID-19 self-collection kits must live in a single-family residence within a 1-mile radius of the designated Supercenters in North Las Vegas and Cheektowaga,” Ward said.
Depending on where there are cars and trees, Ward said the kits will land on the driveway, front sidewalk, or backyard of the customer’s home.
“There’s a lot we can learn from our drone delivery pilots to help determine what roles drones can play in pandemic response, health care delivery and retail,” he said. “We hope drone delivery of self-collection kits will shape contactless testing capabilities on a larger scale and continue to bolster the innovative ways Walmart plans to use drone delivery in the future.”
Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko
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