September 25, 2017 |
Retail Clinics: Convenient, Cost-Effective, Quality Care
November 5, 2013  | 

Princeton, NJ - Retail clinics (also called convenient care clinics) are an increasingly popular option for people who need diagnosis and treatment for common, non-life-threatening conditions. Nurse practitioners (NPs) are the primary care providers in these clinics, which are located in a range of settings, including pharmacies, grocery stores and “big box” stores. First established in 2000, there are now more than 1,200 retail clinics nationwide. Research shows that they provide quality health care and reduce health care costs. A new study shows that they can further reduce costs when NPs are allowed to practice independently, potentially by nearly $472 million or more in 2015.

The research team, which was led by Joanne Spetz, PhD, professor at the Institute for Health Policy Studies and associate director for Research Strategy at the Center for the Health Professions at the University of California, San Francisco, and Stephen T. Parente, director of the Medical Industry Leadership Institute at the Carlson School of Business, University of Minnesota, compared claims data over a two-week period for 9,503 patients who visited retail and non-retail clinics from 2004 to 2007. Researchers compared costs in states that require NPs to be supervised by or collaborate with physicians, states that allow NPs to practice independently but not prescribe, and states in which NPs are allowed to practice and prescribe independently.

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