econintersect .com

FREE NEWSLETTER: Econintersect sends a nightly newsletter highlighting news events of the day, and providing a summary of new articles posted on the website. Econintersect will not sell or pass your email address to others per our privacy policy. You can cancel this subscription at any time by selecting the unsubscribing link in the footer of each email.

posted on 24 July 2017

Check Up Before You Check Out: Retail Clinics And Emergency Room Use

from the Chicago Fed

-- this post authored by Diane Alexander , Janet Currie , Molly Schnell

The U.S. health care market is often viewed as a market in which competition does not work well: it is increasingly concentrated (Gaynor and Townsend, 2011); prices are not transparent; and many studies highlight imperfections and asymmetries in the information available to providers, patients, and insurers.

These shortcomings are thought to entail large efficiency and welfare losses both from unnecessary procedures and delayed interventions, such as costly emergency room (ER) visits, that could have been avoided with proper preventive care. This state of affairs makes it especially interesting to consider an innovation that has the potential to increase competition in some health care markets: The development of the retail clinic.

Retail clinics first appeared in 2000 and have since grown rapidly, with over 2,000 clinics operating in 41 states and Washington D.C. in 2015 (National Conference of State Legislatures, Retail clinics are generally located within retail stores, such as pharmacies or “big-box" outlets like Wal-Mart. They tend to be staffed by nurse practitioners or physician assistants and offer a limited range of services. They are typically open seven days a week, have extended hours in the evenings, and do not require appointments. Prices may be a quarter to a third less expensive than the price a doctor would charge for the same services (Mehrotra et al., 2009; Tu and Cohen, 2008, Thygeson et al., 2008) and are usually posted online.

Thus, retail clinics compete with doctors’ offices for basic primary care services by offering lower and more transparent prices, shorter waiting times, and convenience (Ahmed and Fincham, 2010; Wang et al., 2010). Lowering the monetary and time costs of care might result in higher consumption of primary care and subsequent improvements in health. Retail clinics may also divert some patients from ERs, particularly for relatively minor conditions that arise outside of normal office hours when doctors’ offices are typically closed, resulting in cost savings. On the other hand, retail clinics might sell unnecessary services or products (AMA, 2007), provide lower quality, or disrupt continuity of care (American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians), leading to higher costs and worse health outcomes.

[click on image below to continue reading]


>>>>> Scroll down to view and make comments <<<<<<

Click here for Historical News Post Listing

Make a Comment

Econintersect wants your comments, data and opinion on the articles posted. You can also comment using Facebook directly using he comment block below.

Econintersect Contributors

Print this page or create a PDF file of this page
Print Friendly and PDF

The growing use of ad blocking software is creating a shortfall in covering our fixed expenses. Please consider a donation to Econintersect to allow continuing output of quality and balanced financial and economic news and analysis.

Keep up with economic news using our dynamic economic newspapers with the largest international coverage on the internet
Asia / Pacific
Middle East / Africa
USA Government

 navigate econintersect .com


Analysis Blog
News Blog
Investing Blog
Opinion Blog
Precious Metals Blog
Markets Blog
Video of the Day


Asia / Pacific
Middle East / Africa
USA Government

RSS Feeds / Social Media

Combined Econintersect Feed

Free Newsletter

Marketplace - Books & More

Economic Forecast

Content Contribution



  Top Economics Site Contributor TalkMarkets Contributor Finance Blogs Free PageRank Checker Active Search Results Google+

This Web Page by Steven Hansen ---- Copyright 2010 - 2018 Econintersect LLC - all rights reserved