Wednesday, March 03, 2010

From 200 in 2006, Retail Clinics Now Top 1,200 For First Time Ever; An Amazing 6X Increase in 3 Years

Total Retail Clinics on March 1: 1,205 (up 8 from Feb. 1)
Total Number of States: 40
Total Number of Operators: 71
Total Retailers: 41
Total Hospital Systems: 53

Source: Merchant Medicine

MP: At the end of 2006, there were only 200 retail clinics in the United States. As of March 1, 2010 the number of retail clinics operating surpassed 1,200, which is an amazing 6-fold increase in just over 3 years for the number of convenient, affordable retail clinics operating in the U.S. At the same time that Congress and the President orchestrate a government takeover of America's health care system and capture all of the media attention, a more silent revolution is taking place, as market-based alternatives like convenient, low-cost retail clinics are expanding daily, saving American consumers millions of dollars and putting Americans back in charge of their health care spending.


At 3/04/2010 12:43 AM, Blogger ppjakaJim said...

Sounds interesting except I can’t see why this would reduce costs unless there is competition between clinics and/or illegal’s and other non-insured folks are using them instead of the ER.
I also can’t grasp the difference between Retail, Urgent and Convenient Care centers, unless they are all basically the same with different names. It is hard enough to get people to not drive below speed limit in the passing lane so getting them to figure out which clinic they want to go to seems a challenge.
My primary care physician is associated with a clinic that has a Convenient Care center so if I need a Doctor and can’t get an appointment with the primary I just go to the walk in and wait my turn. Since all records are on the computer nothing is lost in the shuffle but there are no real savings. Computers and servers and I/O tablets cost money.
Whether or not the reduction in labor costs wipe out the “electronics” cost I don’t know. It has been my experience that claims of such savings are usually way overstated.
It can also be argued that making it easier for people to get treatment will result in earlier treatment/detection which should keep “X” number of people alive and out of an expensive hospital stay. Here again that would be hard to quantify.

At 3/04/2010 9:36 AM, Blogger RichmondG30 said...

The whole discussion is going to be moot anyway. The Federal government is about to take the first step toward nationalizing the whole system, so any gains the free market made (retail clinics, high-deductible plans, HSA's, etc.) will be wiped out in favor of an army of government bureaucrats micro-managing the system. We're screwed if Obamacare passes.

At 3/04/2010 9:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The retail clinic model is straightforward: offer a limited menu of mainly acute
medical services on a walk-in basis; provide care through nurse practitioners
(NPs) or physician assistants (PAs) with lower salaries than those of physicians;
and locate in small, relatively inexpensive retail spaces for easy consumer access.

The AMA has a cartel situation in the US. They limit the number of doctors that can graduate every year. However, when my child has a sore throat do they really need to see a doctor? No, is it so much easier to go to a retail clinic and pay $50, get a script from an PA and go on with life.

Sames goes with stitches or any other semi-critical medical situation. Why go to the ER when there is a 24/7 Urgent care down the street? Wait 4 hours at the local ER or 1 hour at the local retail clinic?

Now hospital are waking up this this concept. Should we turn customers way at the ER room or refer them to our own branded retail clinic? It is a self cannibalization strategy but it means better delivery and access to quality care for the US population.

Surveys indicate that retail-based clinics appeal most to higher-income consumers willing to pay for convenience, and uninsured consumers, who have few alternatives and limited flexibility.

I am for consumer driven health care.


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