Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Just What the Doctor Ordered, Antidote to Gov't. Healthcare: $29 Physicals at Target Superstores

I just visited the health clinic at the Richfield (MN) Super Target (one of 22 Super Targets in the Twin Cities with convenient, walk-in, affordable health clinics) and took the picture above featuring "camp and sports physicals" for only $29, no appointment necessary. While I was there there was nobody waiting, so it would have been possible to just walk in and get immediate service from a highly-trained, licensed nurse practitioner or physician assistant. Target clinics are open 7 days a week, and operate from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday (total of 69 hours per week).

So while President Obama and politicians in Washington dream up the latest grandiose government health care reform to address rising healthcare costs, the most effective, affordable and convenient healthcare solutions might be right around the corner at your local Target store. And through September 30, you can get a sports or camp physical for only $29.

See a list of services and fees below for Target Clinics (click to enlarge):


Q: In places like Canada and UK with government health care, would this type of affordable, convenient, walk-in, free-market alternative even be allowed?


21 Comments:

At 7/28/2009 2:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm from Canada, and the answer is NO, this would not be allowed.

If I want a physical, I have to call my doctor and book an appointment for sometime in the next month.

I would pay less than $29 for it though.

 
At 7/28/2009 2:33 PM, Anonymous Sean Cooksey said...

It's my understanding that in Canada, for-profit clinics are strictly outlawed de jure, but that many are allowed to exist and operate while the government turns a blind eye, essentially recognizing its own ineptitude when it comes to meeting consumer needs for healthcare.

 
At 7/28/2009 2:42 PM, Blogger Christopher Monnier said...

Another Minnesota company providing similar services is MinuteClinic (which actually used to be the company that provided walk-up healthcare at Target Stores). I work at a large company in the Twin Cities, and we have a MinuteClinic on-site.

 
At 7/28/2009 3:36 PM, Blogger Size said...

I would pay less than $29 for it though.

Are you including the taxes you pay into the single-payer program? I find people tend to forget about that - and that's what the government is counting on.

The Obamacare bill explicitly prohibits these types of clinics. So much for choice. I wonder how many people will have to die on waiting lists before America starts "turning a blind eye".

 
At 7/28/2009 3:39 PM, Blogger Angela said...

WalMart started the in-store clinic model a few years back, with mixed results: http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20090626-709940.html

My son had a sore throat, so I took him to a clinic in a Walgreen's a year or so back. She ran a test, determined it wasn't strep and we were on our way. It took about half an hour and I think we paid $66 all together.

Left alone, the market will find away. Just not quickly enough to appease our incessant desire for instant gratification, I suppose.

 
At 7/28/2009 3:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They exist in the UK - I used one on travel.

http://www.freedomhealth.co.uk/

 
At 7/28/2009 3:45 PM, Blogger Ben Eng said...

If we believe John Stossel that Obama truly wants a single payer system with total government control over health care, and we look at Canada as an example of this, then we should also examine an important consequence of "lowering costs" separate from rationing: doctors salary caps.

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20061004/ont_doctors_061004

I used to live in Ontario, and my brother-in-law is a physician. What do salary caps do? Many physicians leave to practice elsewhere. For those physicians who continue to practice in Ontario, they cap their own investment in time to treating patients. This either means they cap the number of people they accept as patients; or they close their practice for the rest of the year after their billable procedures is reached---they seek gainful employment in an uncapped position, such as in the emergency room of a hospital. Patients suffer, because it has become impossible in Ontario to find a primary care physician who accepts new patients. Established general practitioners refuse to accept new patients, as they have reached their cap.

I have not heard of this issue being discussed in the context of health care reform, so I thought I would raise it.

I live in Texas now. The health care here is outstanding.

 
At 7/28/2009 3:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Left alone, the market will find away. Just not quickly enough to appease our incessant desire for instant gratification, I suppose.

Actually, it's not the market that's not providing the service fast enough. Insurance lobbies obviously hate these clinics and actively lobby regulators to stop their opening. In turn, state legislators mandate luxurious and expensive insurance coverage which many people find too expensive. The ability to negotiate your own rates or a clinic like this undercutting insurance companies means less business for the insurance companies. So, government makes insurance too expensive and then insurance companies get government to kill competition and you pay a way above market rate for basic health care.

But, you know...I'm SURE government will be thinking only of your kids' health when it runs the entire system. Yeah. I totally believe that.

 
At 7/28/2009 5:16 PM, Blogger Paul said...

I would consider this to be the exception which illuminates the rule: we only have relatively cheap, fast health care in limited areas and for limited services. Target providing $29 camp physicals doesn't substitute for healthcare for the millions of uninsured.

As has been stated, these type of quick clinics can coexist with government health care.

 
At 7/28/2009 6:14 PM, Blogger Marco P. said...

Problem is: here we are dealing with allergies, pregnancy tests..., i.e. mostly secondary stuff, common but secondary. The difficulties begin with heart surgery and the likes.....

 
At 7/28/2009 6:18 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

As has been stated, these type of quick clinics can coexist with government health care.

Not in Canada and not if this bill is passed.

Private health care can co-exist if the government covers everyone, but rations publicly provided care to cut costs AND allows privately run clinics and an unregulated insurance industry which provides people with the product they want. That's what they have in France and Germany and most of the rest of that fabled land of fabulous health care - Europe. If people want to avoid the wait lists, they pay out of pocket. It's not perfect and quality of care is much lower than the U.S. now, but it's better than what the current bill provides.

Private supplements won't be possible here because insurance companies aren't allowed to provide supplemental insurance policies that people want and clinics are not allowed to be privately owned. Read the bill.

 
At 7/28/2009 7:10 PM, Anonymous Mike W said...

What about these types of Canadian clinics? What am I missing/not understanding?

http://windsoressex.cioc.ca/record/WIN0775

 
At 7/28/2009 7:14 PM, Anonymous Mike W said...

And these? Is this discussion thread about the affordablility and availablity of simple health care type clinics? Or quality? Or what? I'm interested in all viewpoints.

http://the-doctors-office.ca/index.php?page=fcmc

And here is a fee guide of uninsured services:
http://the-doctors-office.ca/downloads/UninsuredServicesFeeGuide.pdf

 
At 7/28/2009 10:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But I thought...
the standard competitive market model just doesn’t work for health care: adverse selection and moral hazard are so central to the enterprise that nobody, nobody expects free-market principles to be enough.

 
At 7/28/2009 11:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a thought... What happens when the "highly-trained" nurse practitioner misses a case of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and the kid drops dead? $29 physicals get to be an expensive liability that way.

 
At 7/29/2009 5:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder how much Walmart and target will actually pay thier doctors, they seem to pay thier cashiers well....

 
At 7/29/2009 6:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in Montreal, there are a large number of private clinics that take care of such small problems. I have been using one for 7 years, annual fixed fee, and small payments when an injury requires some form of treatment, so YES is the answer, it does exist, the problem here is that Canadian don't actually want to pay for preventative health care, for those that are poorer there are walk in clinics, free of charge, wait is usually between 20 and 40 minutes to see a nurse/doctor

 
At 7/29/2009 11:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the picture showing the posting a list of PRICES for Healthcare services? I'm shocked I tell you, shocked.

You mean to tell me that Healthcare services have prices and a cost? I never knew this... Wow!

I feel like Laurence Fishburne just gave me the red-pill.

 
At 7/29/2009 11:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.thelittleclinic.com/Dot_TreatmentPricingA.asp?category=103

School & Sport Phyiscals can be had for $29 at The Little Clinic. The Little Clinic is found in select Kroger-owned grocery stores in 9 states (AZ, CO, FL, GA, IN, KY, MI, OH, TN), but they are ramping up operations fast.

 
At 7/29/2009 11:31 AM, Anonymous Brad S said...

Oops, I forgot to mention: In GA and FL, The Little Clinic is found in Publix stores.

 
At 7/29/2009 9:36 PM, Blogger Marco P. said...

When you think of the problem of health care costs, you shouldn't envision visits to the family physician to talk about a sore throat; you should think about coronary bypass operations, dialysis, and chemotherapy.

 

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