Retail Health Care Clinic Updates
1. One of the nation's leading retail health clinics, Take Care Health Systems, recently informed the American Academy of Family Physicians that it would not renew its commitment to the Academy's list of Desired Attributes of Retail Health Clinics. The action fueled AAFP's already heightened concerns about retail health clinics expanding their scope of practice beyond the treatment of simple acute health concerns. Link.
Translation: The family doc cartel is worried about increased competition.
2. Boston Globe -- Some of the state's largest health insurers say they will cover visits to the retail health clinics expected to open in CVS and Walgreens drugstores later this year, making the clinics attractive options for the treatment of everyday ailments.
The endorsement by insurers is likely to turn retail clinics into major healthcare providers in the state because, for many patients, they will be less expensive than hospital emergency rooms, with less waiting time. Under the contracts signed and being negotiated, retail clinic copayments range from $10 to $25, compared with the $50 to $150 copays most insurers assess for emergency room care.
The state's powerful physicians' group, the Massachusetts Medical Society, opposed the clinics when they were proposed by CVS last year, saying they raised concerns about safety, oversight of caregivers, and spread of germs.
Translation: The MMS cartel was actually most concerned about competition.