The Antidote to Obamacare? Dr. Wal-Mart, Retail Clinics and Strip Mall Medicine Are Booming in U.S.
Following this morning's report on the second CVS retail clinic in the nation's capital, here are two more new reports on market-based alternatives to government-run health care:
2. "Promising convenience and consumer-friendly pricing, urgent care clinics such as Physicians Medical are quickly becoming a ubiquitous sight along highways and in strip malls across America. The Urgent Care Association of America estimates the number of clinics has reached 8,700, up about 8 percent since 2008 despite the recession. Within a 50-mile radius of downtown Jacksonville (FL), at least 32 clinics provide walk-ins with timely care.
The clinics tend to offer care during regular doctors' hours and at nights and on weekends. "Most cases when you get sick on a Friday afternoon, they can't see you until Tuesday," said Michael Critzer, director of operations for Physicians Medical. "Nobody wants to wait. We live in a world of instant gratification, so that's where we come in."
And urgent clinics charge far less than their main after-hours competitors: emergency rooms. A 2009 study of Minnesota patients seeking treatments for ear infections, sore throats or urinary-tract infections found that the bills averaged $156 at urgent care clinics vs. $570 at emergency rooms." (Source)