Walmart to close all 51 health centers, including 17 in Georgia

Walmart made the announcement on Tuesday

Walmart reverses course, , closes down its , health division.Walmart has announced it will close all 51 of the doctor-staffed health clinics it operates.The announcement comes as part of the company's decision toshut down its Walmart Health Initiative.Clinics that will close down are in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois and Texas. .On April 30, the company also said it would begin winding down its virtual care service.Walmart said it will work to direct current patients to other providers covered by their insurance networks to ensure they continue to receive care

After five years, Walmart health centers will permanently shutter their doors nationwide. The shopping chain announced Tuesday “there is not a sustainable business model for us to continue” Walmart Health or Walmart Health Virtual Care.

Walmart had 51 health centers across five states, including 17 in Georgia. A spokeswoman for the Arkansas-based company told the Associated Press that reimbursement proved challenging “from all types of insurance.”

“We understand this change affects lives — the patients who receive care, the associates and providers who deliver care and the communities who supported us along the way,” the company stated in a news release.

“This is a difficult decision, and like others, the challenging reimbursement environment and escalating operating costs create a lack of profitability that make the care business unsustainable for us at this time,” Walmart continued.

The shopping chain did not specify when the health centers will close, but added it will share more information at a later date. Employees working at health centers are eligible to transfer to any Walmart or Sam’s Club location.

“Today and in the coming days, we are focused on continuity of care for patients and providing impacted associates with respect and assistance as we begin the closing process of the health care centers,” the company said.

Employees affected by the closings who do not transfer to other locations will be granted 90 days of pay. After those 90 days, those who still have not transferred will receive severance benefits.

While the clinics remain open, providers will also continue to see existing patients.

The Georgia locations affected by the closings are in: