Saturday, July 19, 2014

I think the rise of "minute clinics" and other convenient care centers in retail areas is a good idea, providing access to people in convenient settings.  But it is appropriate to review the actual clinical performance of such centers to make sure they add value to the healthcare system and patients and don't simply grab their share of the 19% of GDP.

Here's a thoughtful commentary on the topic by Budd Shenkin, as he reviews a recent study on the matter.  Here's a teaser:

Retail Based Clinics (RBCs) are one of the most recent American organizational innovations. Ready access to acute care, especially during evenings and weekends, has long been neglected by our health care system. Large pharmacy companies have taken advantage of their access to capital and their high visibility in communities to establish RBCs on their premises to fill that access gap. While they appear to have become financially successful, serious questions surround RBCs. Do they further fragment an already fragmented system? Do they provide high-quality care? Do they succumb to the temptation to drive further profits by prescribing too many medicines to be bought at the parent company's store where they are located?


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