Saturday, December 06, 2008

Antidote to Socialized Medicine: Walgreens Doubles the Number of Retail Health Care Clinics

CHICAGO TRIBUNE -- The push into retail medicine is regaining momentum, and Walgreen Co. is leading that charge.

Although the economic downturn slowed growth this summer, retailers and hospital systems continue to open retail clinics. The number of U.S. clinics jumped to 1,135 as of Monday compared with 1,104 as of Nov. 1, according to Merchant Medicine.

Walgreens had 293 in-store clinics as of the beginning of this week, up from 172 in mid-June. The company projects having 400 clinics nationally by Aug. 31 (see chart above).

Walgreens said retail clinics help address the problem of a decreasing number of doctors-in-training in the primary medical-care field, which could spur a shortage of medical professionals.

"Demand for primary-care health services has outstripped supply, and the problem is going to get worse as fewer medical school students choose primary care," Walgreens spokesman Michael Polzin said.

The model has been greeted by health insurers, employers and consumer groups as a way to address the national problem of accessing medical care, particularly with the number of uninsured Americans at more than 45 million.


At 12/06/2008 6:25 PM, Blogger save_the_rustbelt said...

Ah, this increases access, but only makes a small difference in the payment.

It is an antidote to access problems, but has little impact on financing and/or regulations.

Misleading headline.

At 12/07/2008 4:08 AM, Blogger bobble said...

this is a great trend in medical care.

it doesn't solve the problem of major medical issues, but it solves the problem of minor medical issues.

At 12/07/2008 4:38 PM, Blogger misterjosh said...

"Demand for primary-care health services has outstripped supply" and the sad thing is that because people feel that medical care is a right, the income of primary care physicians will not rise, and the number of doctors choosing that career path will continue to shrink.


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