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Walmart's MeMD Sale Is Another Retail Healthcare Failure

Analysis  |  By Eric Wicklund  
   July 05, 2024

Disruptors are discovering that healthcare can't be run like a shopping center

Another disruptor is exiting the primary care space.

Walmart has announced the sale of its MeMD virtual care program to Fabric, a one-year-old telehealth startup whose healthcare partners include OSF HealthCare, MUSC Health, Highmark, Luminis Health, and Intermountain Health. The move comes just months after the retail giant announced the closing of its virtual care platform and a significant number of its in-store health centers.

The announcement continues a trend of disruptors backing out of the retail primary care space after unsuccessful attempts to make a profit. Walgreens, CVS Health, and Rite Aid have both curbed their healthcare plans amid business struggles and a selloff of pharmacies, while Amazon recently announced plans to consolidate its virtual care and primary care services on one platform.

MeMD was launched in 2010 and acquired by Walmart in 2021.

Fabric, which offers a multi-faceted virtual care platform for businesses and payers as well as healthcare providers, said the deal would enable it to expand its base and build in-demand behavioral health services. The company secured $60 million in Series A funding in February, with investors including General Catalyst and Salesforce Ventures.

“This acquisition aligns with our strategic vision to transform healthcare delivery through innovative technology and exceptional patient care,” Founder and CEO Aniq Rahman said in a press release. “The combination of our teams, technology, and clinicians strategically positions Fabric to quickly expand across payers, employers, and provider organizations.”

The deal highlights the ongoing challenge of creating a retail primary care model that combines value with sustainability. Many companies are finding that while consumer-facing retail strategies hold promise in improving the healthcare experience, that doesn’t mean a healthcare service can be run like a retail store.

Eric Wicklund is the associate content manager and senior editor for Innovation at HealthLeaders.


Walmart has sold off its MeMD virtual care platform to telehealth startup Fabric.

The deal follows similar struggles by Walgreens, CVS Health, Rite Aid, and even Amazon to crack the primary care space.

While disruptors say consumer-facing retail strategies can improve the healthcare experience, they haven’t yet found a model for sustainability.

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