Retail clinics have grown exponentially in the US over the last five years, and gained significant interest among patients and physicians alike, states a new report by healthcare experts GBI Research.
The new report* shows that the first retail clinic, QuickMedx, opened in 2000 in Minnesota, and since this inception, retail clinics have grown to treat an increasing range of illnesses and offer an increasing range of services. Cash payments from patients have evolved into collaborations with insurance companies, and the retail clinics revolution seems set to continue.
Walk-in medical services are located in convenient, easily accessible places such as malls and pharmacies, where Nurse Practitioners (NP) and Physician Assistants (PA) treat minor conditions such as sore throats, flu and acne and skin irritation, and also provide other healthcare services, delivering vaccinations, weight-loss plans and smoking cessation strategies.
The average waiting time for an appointment in regular clinics surveyed in 10 metropolitan US states is 20.3 days; whereas in a retail clinic a customer can walk in and use any of the services with a maximum waiting time of 15 minutes. In addition to being in convenient locations, retail clinics are open throughout the week, including during evening hours, at fairly low costs in comparison to regular clinics.
The booming retail clinic industry lowers the costs for health insurance policy makers, who can divert minor conditions to retail clinics, reducing costs and the number of emergency room visits. The Convenient Care Association is a US trade association, whose member clinics constitute more than 90% of all retail clinics. The association helps to standardize operations, establish exemplary practices, and share resources to drive growth in the retail clinic industry, ensuring that high standards are met by clinics across the country.
US companies must provide healthcare benefits to their employees to maintain low employee attrition rates, and minimize costs to the company caused by sick leave. Retail clinics offer services at low costs and at convenient times, minimizing time lost to doctor’s appointments during work-hour. Companies like Sanofi are encouraging healthy lifestyles among their employees by opening a retail clinic, TakeCare Clinic, in the company premises. This allows employees to pick up prescriptions for their family within the company’s office building, at low costs and convenient times, meaning better turnout during office hours, and these clinics’ services cost less than regular clinics’, therefore saving the company money.
The future of retail clinics seems set to blossom, as long as evolution can be seen in these clinical practices. A further expansion of services, perhaps including chronic disease management and administration of injectables, could represent the next step in drop-in healthcare.
The number of retail clinics in 2011 was 1,355 and is expected to reach 2,854 by 2018. The CAGR for the period 2011–2018 was calculated to be 11.2%.
NOTES TO EDITORS
*Retail Clinics - 2012 Yearbook
The report provides insights into the US retail clinic market, with coverage of the market landscape, key market trends, market drivers and restraints. It gives market forecasts for the retail clinic industry until 2018, the distribution of retail clinics across the US, the key stakeholders, and their issues. The report additionally provides an in-depth analysis of the competitive landscape, including the benchmarking of top companies, key trends on mergers and acquisitions, and licensing agreements involving retail clinics.
The report is built using data and information sourced from proprietary databases, primary and secondary research and in-house analysis by GBI Research’s team of industry experts.
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