CMA Continues Efforts To Keep Retail Clinics Away From California
Although some experts predict that retail clinics in drug or grocery stores could play a major role in the U.S. health care system in the future, the California Medical Association has remained strongly opposed to the idea, HealthLeaders Media reports.
CMA CEO Dustin Corcoran said the association is fighting to keep retail clinics out of California because:
- Health care providers at retail clinics might be treating conditions beyond their scope of practice;
- Retail clinics could disrupt continuity of care if a clinician does not share his or her recommendations with a patient's primary care provider; and
- Retail facilities primarily are designed to sell products.
State Laws Pose Obstacles to Retail Clinics
CMA has noted that two California laws are likely to prevent retail clinics from taking off in California.
The first law prohibits any company from directly hiring a physician. This means retailers would need to lease space to a physician, who then would hire health care providers to see patients.
The second law prohibits California physicians from overseeing more than four nurse practitioners or physician assistants at one time.
Sutter Clinics: An Exception
CMA said it is not opposed to three Rite Aid-based clinics in the Sacramento area that are run by Sutter Health.
Health care providers at the clinics are employed by Sutter, not by Rite Aid. Sutter leases the space from Rite Aid and Sutter physicians oversee the clinicians.Corcoran said, "When the retail clinic is affiliated with physicians so that proper care is ensured, it goes a long way to alleviate our concerns" (Clark, HealthLeaders Media, 4/8). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.