Study: In-Store Clinics Give MDs Run for Their Money
Consumers get as good or better treatment for minor ailments
at a fraction of the cost of a visit to the doctor when they go to an in-store
clinic. That is the finding of a new study published in the September edition
of the Annals of Internal Medicine.
The research funded by the California Health Care Foundation and the National
Center for Research Resources, part of the National Institutes of Health, looked
at data from 2,100 patients treated for ailments including ear infections,
sore throats and urinary tract infections.
The quality of care provided was found to be on par with doctors’ offices
and urgent care centers and better than a trip to the emergency room. The cost
for the treatments at in-store clinics were substantially lower than the other
According to the study’s findings, the total cost for treatment
at in-store clinics was $110 compared to $156 at an urgent care center, $166
at a MD’s office and $570 for an emergency room trip. Most of the patients
in the study had health insurance.
“We need to continue to examine retail medical clinics as they
grow in number, but the results we have seen thus far suggest they provide
high-quality care in a convenient and cost-effective fashion,” Dr. Ateev
Mehrotra of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the Rand
research institute told Reuters.
With growing evidence that in-store clinics provide quality care at reasonable
prices, is it time for retailers to actively educate consumers on how
much the same procedure will cost going to other healthcare providers?
Can creating a “retail” approach help bring down the nation’s healthcare