Monday, August 21, 2006

Coming soon: health clinics at Walgreens

Coming soon: health clinics at Walgreens: "More insurance plans are covering retail clinics because the clinics charge less than doctors' offices. If covered, a Take Care patient is charged the plan's co-pay. If not, the patient pays an average of $59 to $74. But many doctors are wary of the clinics, staffed by nurse practitioners or physician assistants.Dr. Frank Madda of the DuPage County Medical Society said chain clinics "will certainly drive many family-practice physicians, pediatricians and internists out of business. This will result in a decrease in the availability of physicians for all patients."
Turf battles - with a twist ! Actually, this may make healthcare delivery more efficient. These retail health clinics can serve as triage stations, so that only patints with more serious problems will need to go see their doctor. After all, most problems are self-limited and get better on their own, thanks to the body's own healing powers ( though doctors are always happy to take the credit !)

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