retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal reports that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is officially saying that people should not use retail health clinics for children's primary medical care needs, that they work against the concept of having a personal physician with a sense of medical history, and "don't provide the continuity of care that pediatricians do."

The Journal writes that some of these clinics have "expanded beyond treating sore throats and giving flu shots to offer sports and school physicals and treat chronic diseases, setting up more direct competition with doctors.

"Retail clinics also are generally open seven days a week, don't require an appointment, accept more types of insurance than doctors do and charge 30% to 40% less for similar services, studies show. Costs vary widely by region and service offered, but getting a common ailment treated at a retail clinic, without insurance, typically runs between $50 and $75.

"After plateauing in recent years, the numbers of these outlets are once again expanding, as retailers bet that the Affordable Care Act will bring longer waits at doctors' offices and drive more patients their way."

The Convenient Care Association (CCA), the trade association that represents the retail clinic industry, responds to the criticism by saying that they are responding to consumer demand, are open at times when traditional doctors are not available, and more and more are partnering with health systems so that patient information is being shared, with a goal of greater efficacy.
KC's View:
In a perfect world, every kid would have a dedicated and selfless pediatrician with unique knowledge of the child's medical history and a passionate service mindset. But we don't live in a perfect world - we didn't before Obamacare, and don't now.

I would simply argue that these two segments of the health care industry need to find a way to work together and get along. Because in the end, what's most important is making sure that kids get the care they need. Maybe it would make more sense to spend time and energy creating a more responsive system, rather than arguing that one is better than the other.