Physicians

PHYSICIANS/INDUSTRY: Retail clinics

I recently met Michael Howe who is CEO of MinuteClinic, and he had the good graces to call me back and talk on the day that they sold out to CVS. Very classy as it would have been easy to blow me off.

So the rumor quoted here is that CVS paid $170m for the company—certainly an endorsement that they at least think that retail NP clinics are real. But if you want to really know more, look at this new report on retail clinics from the California Health Care Foundation written by Mary Kaye Scott. Very nice summary indeed.

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Lawrence StiffmanBarry CarolTim GeeTom LeithPeter Recent comment authors
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Lawrence Stiffman
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The retail/in-store clinic movement is more than a highly beneficial strain of “disruption” to the primary healthcare delivery system. Looking forward, it should also be a significant catalyst and test-bed to improve community health status. This strategy entails e-collaboration with a robust referral care network harmonizing enabling tools related to consumer-directed wellness, early disease detection and disease management services. Add a hefty dash of one-on-one customer rewarding based on health risk appraisal completion. Follow up with sequential adherence-based economic incentives fulfilled through behavioral target marketing with customized couponing triggered by the HRA findings, seasonal drivers, and respondent demographics. Similar reward… Read more »

Barry Carol
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Barry Carol

Walgreens tells me that their clinics will average approximately 300 square feet and require 20 patients per day to breakeven. The company also, of course, hopes that the patient will fill any scrip at its pharmacy and, perhaps, buy some front end (non-scrip) merchandise before leaving. Hopefully, the concept will prove profitable and spread quickly. It has the potential to reduce ER visits, maybe make it easier to get a timely appointment with a PCP for more serious ailments and make a net positive contribution to pricing transparency. It would also be helpful, I believe, if insurers would revise their… Read more »

Tim Gee
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As a new high deductible health insurance user, I can see real advantages to retail clinics. In my demographic, I think they will compete very well – but, is the HDHI market big enough to make a reasonable profit?
Ultimate success will also depend on how each retail clinic business manages other health care stakeholders. Private practice physicians wield a lot of power, and if they become detractors that’s likely the kiss of death.

Peter
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Peter

You’re right Tom, insurance provides a money pool and data collection system which does add a lot, I just don’t think the present for profit insurers, adding double digit compounded rate increases each year, are giving us the most efficient and fairest system. You’d think they would be the ones controlling costs, yet they are really just controlling their “shed the losers” costs. But the same things they bring to the system could be achieved by a single pay gov. system with the efficiencies and fairness that go with that. This doc is certainly not practicing in the ghetto, but… Read more »

Tom Leith
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Tom Leith

> So how much are insurers adding > to the cost of healthcare? Depends on whom you ask. The range commonly quoted is 12 — 25%. But this doesn’t tell us much because it leaves out what insurers bring to healthcare. Without insurers, we would not have the medical technology we have because there would’ve been no market for it; we would have absolutely no data on outcomes, practice variation, and so-forth. > how come most docs (free marketeers) aren’t > going this route?? Because it works OK for family practice docs in affluent locales who don’t want to see… Read more »

Peter
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Peter

I don’t know why there should be a turf war, although I’m not surprised. Here in NC there is a doc that managed to pry himself from the expensive and time comsuming addiction to insurers. His office staff is I think three instead of 6-7 that would be needed if he dealt with insurance. He also has more time for patients. See his site: http://acchealth.com/ $45 office visits, big reductions in lab tests and other services. So how much are insurers adding to the cost of healthcare? Middle men will kill you. Maybe if we had one government insurer it… Read more »