Monday, August 10, 2015

The Rise of Retail Medical Clinics

My opinion:  I think it's great that clinics are becoming more convenient for patients.  Retail clinics usually appear in busy places, like shopping areas.  The article focuses on CVS adding these clinics to their stores.  These are useful for patients who have urgent issues that are not emergencies, for example, sore throats and cuts.  Now, regular doctors are trying to compete, expanding their hours and creating apps that help patients set appointments.  But retail clinics, according to the article, seem to have mid-level healthcare providers like nurse practitioners instead of doctors.  I think that another kind of retail clinic with physicians would attract a different crowd of people, ones who are more willing to trust doctors rather than nurses or PAs.  But would doctors even want to work in such a setting?  I think that is unlikely, although some primary care doctors might be fine with it.  Ultimately, I can see hospitals and regular outpatient clinics dealing with harder or emergency cases, with more specialists on board, whereas retail clinics will treat less severe issues with mid-level providers.  Could this be the beginning of a separation between primary care and specialties?  And are there any other implications of this?  Feel free to comment. 


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