business news in context, analysis with attitude

A new study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, says that a comparison of data from retail clinics, doctors' offices, urgent care centers and hospital emergency departments shows that medical clinics in retail stores such as Walmart and CVS, staffed by nurse practitioners, can provide “a good standard of care for sore throat, ear infection]s and urinary tract infections,” according to HealthDay News.

"I'm interested in how we deliver new forms of health care," writes Dr. Ateev Mehrotra of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. "There's been a lot of discussion about the quality and effectiveness of these clinics … From the patients' perspective, their appeal is twofold. They're convenient and they provide significant cost savings."

The story says that Mehrotra concluded that “one-third of Americans live within a 10-minute drive of a retail clinic, and more than 6,000 of these clinics are expected to open across the United States within five years … Using various statistical tools, the researchers found that the standards of care in retail clinics in Minnesota were consistent with accepted medical guidelines for those ailments, including the frequency and type of lab tests performed and drugs prescribed.”
KC's View:
With all the debate about health care, you never hear anyone in government talk about how retail medical clinics have had an enormous impact on how some folks are able to get access to effective and reasonably priced medical care. Maybe it would make more sense if people were talking about this success and spending less time ranting about death panels.