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Health care retail clinics: current perspectives

Authors Kaissi A

Received 31 October 2015

Accepted for publication 17 February 2016

Published 31 March 2016 Volume 2016:3 Pages 47—55

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IEH.S88610

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Lucy Goodman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Rubin Pillay


Amer Kaissi

Department of Health Care Administration, Trinity University, San Antonio, TX, USA

Abstract: Retail clinics represent a major innovation with a radical value proposition in American health care: convenient locations and hours, walk-in care, short waiting times, and transparent pricing. Many organizations, groups, associations, and individual providers affect and are affected by retail clinics. The main winners from the retail clinic trend are insurance companies and third-party payers, nonphysician providers, employers, and patients. The main losers are primary care physicians and medical group practices, and possibly emergency departments and urgent care clinics. Hospital systems are either potential winners or losers, depending on their ability to collaborate with, become subcontractors for, and extend services of retail clinics. Research evidence suggests that retail clinics represent a low-cost, high-quality, and convenient alternative to traditional primary care physician offices and hospital emergency rooms. Given their recent growth and strategies of directly addressing problems surrounding care convenience, they constitute a form of innovation in health care. However, they do not seem to follow the traditional path of disruptive innovations displacing sustaining ones. Rather, due to legislative and other factors, retail clinics are now being adopted by traditional organizations such as hospital systems. In the last few years, there have been many signs that clinic operators are seeking to change the model by expanding the scope of services offered into chronic disease management. It is not clear whether these strategies are sustainable.

Keywords: retail clinics, hospitals, quality, convenience, patient satisfaction, disruptive innovation

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