Retail Clinics Hit 10 Million Forbes Article

Retail Clinics Hit 10 Million Annual Visits But Just 2% Of Primary Care Market
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The proliferation of retail health means Americans are visiting retail clinics more than 10 million times a year at 1,800-plus locations, yet this convenient and low cost care model accounts for just a fraction of primary care in the U.S., according to a new report.

Manatt Health, a health care consulting firm, said retail clinics represent about 2% of “all primary care encounters” in the U.S. even with the cost of care at a retail clinic about one-third that of traditional outpatient settings. Manatt’s study, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, indicated retail health will fuel the move to value-based health care and a “culture of health,” but there are various hurdles that include lack of government reimbursement.

Retail clinics, which are run by giant drugstore chains like Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), CVS Health (CVS) and Wal-Mart (WMT) and grocers like Kroger KR +1.09% (KR) treat routine maladies like pink eye, scrapes and bruises but are expanding into wellness and primary care like routine physical exams. Retail clinics, which are open later than a doctor’s office and on weekends, are typically staffed by nurse practitioners or physician assistants.

Cost of care at a retail clinic can be about $110 for commercially insured customers though co-payments can be less while similar care at a doctor’s office is $166, Manatt Health said.

“To the extent they are able to coordinate care with health system partners, their value will be further enhanced,” Manatt said in its full report linked here.

One Response to “Retail Clinics Hit 10 Million Forbes Article”

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