Study Finds Use Of Retail Clinics Rising
Researchers from the RAND Corporation found a dramatic increase in adults seeking care at clinics in drugs stores and other outlets.
National Journal: Study: Retail Clinics Gaining In Popularity
Offering their findings in the American Journal of Managed Care, the researchers said that use of retail medical clinics by adults insured by Aetna increased tenfold between 2007 and 2009. "It is clear that enrollees are 'voting with their feet' and that retail clinics are meeting an unmet need for simple acute care and/or addressing a shortage of traditional health care providers," Scott Ashwood of the Rand Corp. and colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine wrote (Fox, 11/22).
CQ HealthBeat: Retail Clinic Use Rises Dramatically
The number of insured Americans under age 65 who used a medical clinic located in a pharmacy or other retail setting increased tenfold between 2007 and 2009, according to a new RAND Corporation study. The strongest determining factor about whether someone went to one of these retail medical clinics instead of a doctor's office seemed to be how close they lived to the retail clinic (11/22).
The Press-Enterprise/The Seattle Times: Retail Pharmacies As Health Care Providers
Six free health screenings lured Vicki Masters to a Walgreens. … Walgreens is among several large chain pharmacy stores to expand and offer health care services within the past several years. Some have opened medical clinics inside their stores as alternatives to crowded doctors' offices. Others offer programs to help customers, including those with diabetes, manage their chronic health conditions (Hines, 11/22).
Emergency care is also undergoing change:
The Wall Street Journal: Emergency Docs Warn Of Challenges In New Payment Models
In a new editorial in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, several emergency physicians warn of the challenges of incorporating what ER docs do into new models that move away from the current fee-for-service payment to an episode-of-care approach that reimburses providers for caring for a population of patients over time (Landro, 11/23).
The Wall Street Journal: At the Mall: New Clinics Let Patients Skip The ER
Clinics like PrimaCare's — and others in many drugstores that offer fewer services — are increasingly cropping up nationwide to address a widening deficit in care: The number of patients seeking emergency care rose more than 43 percent between 1990 and 2009, while the number of hospital emergency departments declined 27 percent over the same period, says Renee Hsia, an emergency-medicine researcher at the University of California, San Francisco. While the array of options can be confusing, for patients who do some research before an illness or accident, non-traditional care providers can help them cut costs and avoid excruciatingly long ER wait times (Landro, 11/22).