The geographic distribution, ownership, prices, and scope of practice at retail clinics

Article (PDF Available)inAnnals of internal medicine 151(5):315-20 · October 2009with37 Reads
Source: PubMed
Retail clinics are clinics within a retail store that provide simple acute and preventive care services for a fixed price without an appointment. To describe characteristics of retail clinics, including their location, scope of practice, prices, acceptance of insurance, and ownership, and to estimate the proportion of the U.S. population that lives within a short driving distance of such a clinic. Cross-sectional descriptive study. United States. All 982 retail clinics operating as of August 2008. Population living within a 5- and 10-minute driving distance of a retail clinic. In August 2008, 42 operators ran 982 clinics in 33 states; 88.4% were located in urban areas. Nearly half (44%) of all clinics were located in 5 states (Florida, California, Texas, Minnesota, and Illinois). All offered sore throat treatment (average price, $78) and more than 95% offered treatment of skin conditions, immunizations, pregnancy testing, and lipid or diabetes screening. Almost all (97%) accepted private insurance and Medicare fee-for-service (93%). Among 42 clinic operators, 25 are existing health care companies that operate 11% of the clinics, and 3 are for-profit retail chains that operate 73% of the clinics. An estimated 10.6% of the total U.S. and 13.4% of the urban U.S. population lives within a 5-minute driving distance of a retail clinic, whereas 28.7% (total) and 35.8% (urban) live within a 10-minute driving distance. Our inventory of clinics stopped in August 2008 and estimates of proximity are based on 2000 census data. Retail clinics are positioned to provide immunizations and care for simple acute conditions for a substantial segment of the urban U.S. population. California Healthcare Foundation.
    • "Currently retail clinics are widespread and easily accessible to large numbers of Americans , but these clinics may not be improving access to care for underserved populations, since most of the clinics were located outside medically underserved areas. [7, 8] Figure "
    Article · May 2015
    • "The first of such clinics began in the year 2000 [28]. This form of urgent care has proliferated in the last decade, with the number increasing ten-fold from 2006 to 2008 [29]. In 2009, almost 1,000 of these clinics existed in the United States [30]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Intermittent treatment of acute lower acuity situations has come to be defined as urgent rather than emergent care. The location of urgent care delivery has been shifting from exclusively hospital or office settings to other community locales. To review the concept of urgent care and the new models of health care delivery in the niche between hospitals and primary care. To highlight the roles of urgent care in Israel and compare these roles with those in other countries. Narrative review of the literature.Main findings: The new models of community based urgent care include 1) the urgent care center; 2) the retail or convenience clinic, 3) the free standing emergency center, and 4) the walk-in clinic. These models fall on a continuum of comprehensiveness. They offer care at a lower cost than hospital-based emergency departments and greater temporal convenience than primary care physicians. However, their impact on emergency department utilization and overcrowding or primary care physician overload is unclear.Israel has integrated its urgent care centers into its national health system by encouraging the use of urgent care centers and by requiring all health insurance funds to reimburse patients who use these centers. This integration is similar to the approach in England; however, the type of service is different in that the service in England is provided by nurses. It is different from most other countries where urgent care facilities are primarily private ventures. Community-based acute care facilities are becoming a part of the medical landscape in a number of countries. Still, they remain primarily on the fringe of organized medicine. Despite the important role of community-based acute care facilities in Israel, no nationwide study has been done in two decades. Health policy planning in Israel necessitates further study of urgent care use and its clinical outcomes.
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    • "Indeed, previous studies have shown that retail clinics are effectively delivering immunization services at a reduced cost compared to private offices, clinics, and hospitals. Moreover, many of these locales accept Medicaid thereby ensuring that lower income persons in urban areas are able to obtain flu shots in these convenient places [81, 82]. It is important to highlight the important role faith institutions have as a potential intervention point in future immunization campaigns. "
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