The retail clinics’ trade association, the Convenient Care Association (CCA), estimates that the number of retail clinics will reach 700 by the end of 2007 and 2,000 by the end of 2008. That’s the sort of pace-of-growth that the NBGH could not ignore.
Health Populi’s Hot Points: The NBGH endorsement of retail clinics gives the Large Employer Stamp of Approval to the concept — and will signal NBGH’s support for reimbursing these visits by employer groups as a lower-cost alternative to the emergency room (when used at the appropriate level of care). While many uninsured people undoubtedly use retail clinics as their main portal to the U.S. health system, the insured population will more likely use these facilities if they know they are covered — especially at a lower copayment. Expect the NBGH’s support to give further impetus to the growth of convenient care and health @ retail.