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Retail Medical Clinics: Update and Implications - 2009 Report

Retail clinics offer savings, spark controversy


For satisfied consumers, receiving low-cost, non-urgent health care services at a retail clinic is an attractive alternative to traditional long waits in a physician’s office. As a less costly alternative to primary care physician or emergency room visits, health plans increasingly are covering care at a retail clinic.

Yet, the emergence of retail clinics in convenient settings such as pharmacies and grocery stores has sparked controversy. In some states and localities, regulators are fearful that it represents a compromise to safe and effective care. In many communities, local physicians have actively campaigned against retail clinic openings and advised patients to seek care elsewhere.

“Retail Clinics: Update and Implications,” a new study by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, updates the Center’s 2008 report on this emergent innovation and discusses implications for the future.

Two years ago, retail clinics’ value proposition seemed solid. However, as is true for many new business models, the path to sustainability is not without risk. Some have characterized the initial wave of retail clinic growth as a bubble likely to burst. Indeed, store closings in 2008 caught the attention of industry observers, while investors challenged operators for stronger returns and business model refinement.

What is the status of retail medicine today? What is ahead? “Retail Clinics: Update and Implications” addresses these important questions.

Series on “Disruptive Innovations” in Health Care

This paper is part of a series of reports by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions about “disruptive innovations” in health care. Learn more about the series.

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John Pappas
Job Title:
Public Relations
+1 203 905 2608

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