Central Baptist opens clinic at Wal-Mart

Central Baptist Hospital and Wal-Mart opened The Clinic at Wal-Mart on Monday in the Hamburg shopping district. The 300-square foot mini-clinic offers a broad range of services from shots to nutritional counseling.

The clinic will be open every day and accepts insurance, including Anthem, Humana, United, Aetna, Cigna and Bluegrass Family Health.

Prices are posted on a board at the front of the clinic for services, including basic checkups, flu diagnoses, shots and tobacco cessation.

"Health care needs to be affordable," said Bill Sisson, chief executive of Lexington's Central Baptist Hospital. "It needs to be accessible. ... Hopefully, we can have some impact on the cost of health care in the future."

Tommy Smith, president of parent company Baptist Healthcare, said that because his group's health care network is so strong — with five Kentucky hospitals, including Lexington's Central Baptist and Baptist Hospital East in Louisville — it makes sense for the organization to partner with an organization such as Wal-Mart.

The clinic at the Hamburg Wal-Mart is the first pairing of a Baptist Healthcare System hospital with the nation's leading discount store. A second clinic is scheduled to open Dec. 21 in Louisville's Bashford Manor Wal-Mart.

Other clinics might be opened later in cities in which Baptist Healthcare and Wal-Mart have a presence. Costs vary from the treatment of allergic conditions, pink eye and strains and sprains — all $57 each — to $77 for a flu diagnosis. Flu vaccine is $25, and a pneumonia shot is $45.

Sisson said such clinics will keep patients out of emergency rooms and help steer them toward relationships with primary care physicians.

"It's a more efficient way to take care of people who you need to keep out of the emergency room," Sisson said.