Monday, February 07, 2011

Retail Clinics in the U.S. Could Triple in 5 Years

According to Merchant Medicine's "2011-2015 Walk-In Clinic Market Forecast," the number of retail clinics in the U.S. could almost double from the current level of 1,220 clinics to 2,315 by 2015 under a "mid-case scenario," and the number could more than triple to 3,380 under the "best-case scenario (see chart above).  Even under the "worst case scenario," the number of retail clinics would increase by 33% during the next five years.  The report identifies some key factors that will influence the growth in retail clinics through 2015:

1. "Our take on the insurance mandate portion of health reform is it will have a negligible effect, if any [on retail clinic growth]. What we believe to be more important to watch is the development of accountable care organizations (ACOs) and how those ACOs will impact retail and urgent care.

On the positive side, we see ACOs partnering with retail pharmacies in different ways. One example is the partnerships MinuteClinic is forming with large health systems like the Cleveland Clinic, Allina and Catholic Healthcare West (CHW). The CHW/MinuteClinic partnership is more than a simple exchange of collaborative physicians from CHW for the referral of patients from MinuteClinic that are outside of the limited-scope model.

Beyond these partnerships, where the ACOs don’t bring retail pharmacies into the fold, large health insurance companies will, as evidenced by recent deals between CVS and Aetna, and United Healthcare and Walgreens. All of these partnerships, which Walgreens Health and Wellness Division President Hal Rosenbluth refers to as “health care ecosystems,” will benefit large operators like MinuteClinic (CVS), Take Care Health (Walgreens) and The Little Clinic (Kroger).

2. Market forces have been driving walk-in medicine and will continue in the industry’s favor: cost, convenience, quality and flexibility.

3. Because of the primary care physician shortage in the U.S., there is no question that retail and urgent care clinics will step in where patients have trouble finding access to good primary care physicians. In Baltimore/Washington/Northern Virginia, Patient First has evolved from an urgent-care-only clinic network to become an equally powerful brand for primary care. And retail clinic nurse practitioners are beginning to develop a following as primary care providers in markets where there is a primary care physician shortage."

6 Comments:

At 2/07/2011 1:05 PM, Blogger Bill Reeves said...

Call me skeptical. We have massive policy instability that will last for another three years. Not a good sign for investors. More here: http://often-wrong-never-in-doubt.blogspot.com/2011/02/heres-illustration-of-capital-strike.html

 
At 2/07/2011 1:52 PM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

In the Commenwealth of Virginia a Nurse Practioneer may have a following but they must still work with a physician.

From Virgina Code:

"A. A nurse practitioner licensed in a category other than certified nurse midwife shall be authorized to engage in practices constituting the practice of medicine in collaboration with and under the medical direction and supervision of a licensed physician."

The retail clinic is a good idea and will spread but I think a physician is needed on site.

 
At 2/07/2011 6:25 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"A nurse practitioner licensed in a category other than certified nurse midwife shall be authorized to engage in practices constituting the practice of medicine in collaboration with and under the medical direction and supervision of a licensed physician."

The retail clinic is a good idea and will spread but I think a physician is needed on site.
"

Buddy, I'm not so sure. "direction and supervision of" are pretty vague, unless it has been tested in court. There is a similar requirement for paralegals working for an attorney, but the attorney need not be at the same location at all times.

I have worked "at the direction and supervision of" people I never met, and who lived in different satets.

 
At 2/07/2011 6:27 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

That word is "states", of course.

 
At 2/08/2011 8:03 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Well considering the possibility that there will be fewer physicians in the future I'm guessing retail clinics are starting to look like a very decent alternative...

 
At 2/10/2011 4:55 PM, Blogger Anne Law said...

Controlling rising health care costs is a common theme for all of the industry players, including hospitals and pharmacies, and the walk-in health clinic seems to be a logical solution to offset some of these costs. Nurse practitioners and Physician Assistants are perfectly capable of treating non-urgent conditions, and the decline of the general physician will continue to fuel the need for these clinicians. I for one think that these convenient care clinics are here to stay: http://www.bizmology.com/2011/02/10/grocery-store-health-clinics-passing-trend-or-shift-in-care

 

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