RAND Study: Patients Without PCP Go To Retail Clinics

I found this article in in Drug Store News yesterday, but I am a little late to post. On a personal note, when I quit my job and became a independent consultant in the late 90s, I did not have health insurance for a year, then paid for it for two years, never used it and stopped paying for it. I was 26 to 29. When I became engaged, my father-in-law wanted to make sure I had insurance, so his daughter would be covered in case she quit her job. We then set-up insurance through the restaurant I own.

However, my wife and I did not have PCPs for two years, and used the Westport Walk-in clinic as our go to MD. We never had a problem - just walked in and waited maybe 20 minutes at most. I think you could even schedule follow-up appointments The last time I saw my new PCP, I waited almost 45 mins!

The MDs did a great job with all of our medical problems, from Lyme Disease, hypothyroid, nasal infection, to a sprained wrist. Granted a walk-in clinic is more of a medical home that a retail-based clinic, but I wanted to personalize the story a bit.

NEW YORK (Sep. 10) A recently released study by nonprofit research organization RAND Corp. found that many retail-based clinic patients do not have a regular health care provider, which is further evidence as to the important role that retail-based clinics play in today’s healthcare system.

“These clinics appear to attract patients who are not routine users of the current health care system,” stated lead author Dr. Ateev Mehrotra, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and a research at RAND. “For these patients, the convenience offered by retail clinics may be more important than the continuity provided by a personal physician.”

The study, published in the September/October issue of the journal Health Affairs, analyzed the details of more than 1.3 million visits to retail clinics between 2000 and 2007. The data was obtained from eight retail clinic operators that accounted for three-quarters of the clinics in operation as of July 2007. FULL ARTICLE.

Blog Archive