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Study finds high-quality, low-cost services at retail-based clinics


WOONSOCKET, R.I. A recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine concluded retail-based clinics provide care at lower costs and equal or better quality than other urgent care options, according to MinuteClinic.

The Rand Corp. study was based in part on data from MinuteClinic.

Researchers reviewed the experiences of 2,100 patients treated in clinics in Minnesota in 2005 and 2006 for middle ear infections, sore throats and urinary tract infections.

The study found that quality of care at retail clinics is on par with doctor’s offices, urgent care centers and emergency rooms for certain services. The study found that the costs of treating acute illnesses at retail clinics were 30% to 40% lower than in physicians’ offices and urgent care centers, and 80% lower than emergency departments.

“This affirms our internal data, which shows that costs for caring for common illnesses at retail clinics are significantly lower than other venues, such as doctors’ offices, urgent care centers and emergency rooms,” stated Dr. Andrew J. Sussman, president and COO of MinuteClinic. “Additionally, the study shows why our customer satisfaction ratings exceed 90%; patients get quality care at an affordable price.”

Minneapolis-based MinuteClinic, which is owned by CVS Caremark, operates about 500 clinics in 25 states.

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