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Walmart's Sam's Club Teams With Telehealth Startup 98point6

Walmart's Sam's Club is offering virtual healthcare through five-year-old Seattle startup 98Point6.
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Sam's Club, Walmart's  (WMT) - Get Free Report membership-based retail unit, is promoting Seattle startup 98point6 as a telehealth service for its customers.

The retailer is offering virtual healthcare through the five-year-old Seattle startup, Geekwire reported.

Sam’s Club members will get a discounted introductory fee of $20 for the first three months, down from $30, and then $33.50 per month after that. Quarterly and year subscriptions are available.

98point6, which has seen business surge since the coronavirus pandemic broke out, offers access to physicians who diagnose more than 400 common conditions. 

The company provides primary care in all 50 states to more than 3 million patients, connecting them in real-time to doctors through an AI-powered chatbot, along with texts and digital images. Each virtual visit is $1.

Sam's Club and 98point6 partnered last year on a separate pilot program that was available only in three states and structured differently with various healthcare bundle offerings.

The 300-person 98point6, which has nearly three million members, raised a $43 million round in April to help increase capacity for its virtual healthcare technology amid the coronavirus outbreak.

At that time, the company secured partnerships with Boeing  (BA) - Get Free Report, Chipotle  (CMG) - Get Free Report, Circle K [ANCUF] and KinderCare [PGPHF] to provide text-based primary care to 500,000 combined employees in response to the covid-19 pandemic

Investors include Goldman Sachs’s  (GS) - Get Free Report merchant banking division; BlackRock  (BLK) - Get Free Report CEO Larry Fink; Costco  (COST) - Get Free Report Co-Founder Jim Sinegal; former Goldman Sachs CFO David Viniar; and Frazier Healthcare Partners Managing Partner Nader Naini.

Telehealth companies have seen increased usage since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, although a report last month by Epic Health Network, an electronic health record company, found that volumes peaked in mid-April when telehealth visits comprised 69% of total visits. 

Since then, Epic said, levels have dropped to make up only 21% of total visits, though this is still much higher than the rates seen before the pandemic.

Walmart shares at last check were 0.9% higher at $138.29.