Skip to main content

Huffington Post: 'Time seems right' for health clinics


NEW YORK — Drug Store News has long touted to industry players the importance of retail-based health clinics in today’s evolving healthcare system, and that message is increasingly going mainstream as evidenced by a recent Huffington Post article.

“The time seems right for the healthcare landscape to include places such as CVS MinuteClinic, Walgreens Healthcare Clinic and Walmart Care Clinic, along with similar locations housed inside retailers such as Kroger, Target and Rite Aid,” the article stated.

While noting that retail clinics aren’t designed to replace one’s primary care physician, which is a point that clinic operators have actually long stressed, the article did acknowledge that the country is facing a growing physician shortage that is bound to get worse as healthcare reform will bring millions of previously uninsured Americans into the fold.

Americans are tired of enduring long waits to see a physician or being forced to make a pricey — and time consuming — trip to the emergency room when suffering from acute ailments. They are ready for change and retail-based health clinics are stepping up to the plate to meet that need.

In fact, according to the article, the Advisory Board Co., a Washington-based consulting firm, surveyed consumers last year and found that respondents valued being treated by a physician less than the convenience of night and weekend hours, getting seen without an appointment and being able to fill prescriptions on-site.

"We have what I term as a new age of consumerism," Patrick Carroll, the chief medical officer for Walgreens Healthcare Clinics and a primary care physician, was quoted as saying. "They're making choices based on convenience and economics."

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds