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Signs still point to growth for retail health clinics

A new Kalorama Information report found that most patients — 91% — who had used a retail clinic were either satisfied or very satisfied with their visit.

The findings are in line with prior studies, which have long been reported by Drug Store News, and are yet further evidence that retail clinics are playing a vital role in the U.S. healthcare system.

It also is important to note that, according to the study, patients are not turning to retail-based health clinics simply to save money. Yes, the clinics are cost-effective, but it is accessibility, convenience and high-quality care that is truly winning over patients.

The news comes just one week after retail clinic operator Take Care Clinics, which is owned by Walgreens, announced that it is expanding the scope of services within its 300-plus clinics to include management for such chronic conditions as hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol and asthma, as well as additional preventive health services.

Expect this increasing shift to chronic care services to mean an even quicker ramp up in retail clinics throughout the country.

Meanwhile, South Carolina state Department of Health and Human Services director Tony Keck recently toured a MinuteClinic location at a CVS store in downtown Columbia, S.C. The visit was especially important given that Keck helped initiate a plan to include MinuteClinic as a provider of care in order to increase access for Medicaid recipients and to make South Carolina a model in retail health; MinuteClinic accepts all South Carolina Medicaid plans.

The bottom line is that all signs continue to point to growth for retail-based health clinics. One can bet that there’s more to come.

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