Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Disruptive Innovation from the Invasion of the Retail Health Clinics: A 20X Increase in 9 Years

From the conclusion section of a recent study from the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions titled "Retail Clinics: Update and Implications":

"Retail clinics represent a new channel to deliver primary care services more conveniently and at lower cost to consumers. Clinic services are safe and effective, due in large measure to medical management programs that are evidence-based and supported by electronic medical records.

As a new entrant, retail clinics represent a threat to many traditional health care industry stakeholders; however, to consumers, health plans and employers they offer an important care alternative with a strong value proposition.

We expect this new sector to mature while growing its scope of services, locations and impact on population-based health status. Meanwhile, the emergence of retail clinics presents challenges and benefits to others in the industry:

• For local physicians and hospitals, developing a retail strategy that offers competitive pricing, services and value propositions to health plans, employers and consumers will be a requisite.

• For health plans, data suggests that retail clinics are here to stay; they can be safely promoted to enrollees/employers as a valuable part of benefit design.

• For consumers, retail clinics offer an alternative to inaccessible primary care services, inappropriate visits to emergency rooms and unnecessary health care expenditures.

In conclusion, the growth and evolution of retail clinics reflect opportunities for disruptive innovation and an improved value proposition for the U.S. health care system."


MP: The chart above shows the projected phenomenal growth in retail health clinics according to Deloitte for years through 2014 and Merchant Medicine for 2015. There have even been some studies predicting that the number of clinics could reach 6,000 by next year, but that seems unrealistic. But the growth trend in retail clinics is nothing short of phenomenal - going from just 200 clinics in 2006 to possibly 4,000 by the year 2015 - a twenty-fold increase in just nine years!!

While Congress debates its "overhaul" of the U.S. healthcare system, there is already a market-based overhaul happening with the explosion of cost-saving, convenient health clinics around the country. If only this explosion of retail clinics had happened five or ten years ago, we probably wouldn't even be having to tolerate hearing about how Obama, Pelosi and Reid are going to "fix" our health care system.

4 Comments:

At 2/03/2010 11:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

AMEN, That is exactly what Mexico has and has had for decades. Health care here is cheap and fast and you don't need prescriptions to buy medicine.
We have been here for 20 years, and don't even KNOW of any of our friends who have insurance.
The last doctor's office I went to cost less than $2! But normally they cost around $20-$30.

 
At 2/04/2010 12:10 AM, Anonymous Lyle said...

But of course the Guild AMA opposes this saying that you might have a .1% chance of having something non obvious so it takes a physician with 8 years of post graduate training to detect it. This is a guild pure and simple. If you think about it cold and flu medicines should be available after consulting with a pharmacist, else why do they need so much training, counting pills does not require that, so the Pharmacists have built their guild to counter the physicians guild.
Also this model moves most primary care physicians with small offices out of business, which IMHO makes sense as the current model is about as inefficient as you can make it. Group practices allow more sharing and also foster electronic medical records. Today if you see a physician for 1/2 hour a year what kind of relationship is that? Use instead electronic medical records, clinics and standardized protocols for treatment. This would allow de-skilling of most primary care which is what clinics are doing.

 
At 2/04/2010 8:48 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...


• For health plans, data suggests that retail clinics are here to stay; they can be safely promoted to enrollees/employers as a valuable part of benefit design.

Nice way to cut corners in the not-so-good way.


AMEN, That is exactly what Mexico has and has had for decades. Health care here is cheap and fast and you don't need prescriptions to buy medicine.

Well, it's a narco-state. Go figure. The conditions around there would preclude even a risk pool.

 
At 2/04/2010 11:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes Sethstorm, the people here in Mexico are intelligent enough to not need a nanny-state to tell them what they can and cannot do.

And the "narco-state" was created by the stupid USA prohibition laws--victimless crimes.

 

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