Retail Clinics Coming to California
Strict state regulations involving physician oversight of medical care make opening retail clinics more difficult in California, but companies have plans to open clinics soon, according to a report by the California HealthCare Foundation, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Retail clinics "offer quick and cheap medical services inside chain pharmacies and large retailers," such as Wal-Mart and Target, according to the Times. The clinics offer treatment for minor, nonurgent illnesses, including strep throat and ear infections. Most clinics are staffed by nurse practitioners, and visits typically cost between $40 and $70. About 40% of the clinics accept health insurance, CHCF found.
There currently are 150 clinics nationwide, with three in California, but thousands of new clinics are expected to open within the next two years, the study states.
QuickHealth, a firm that operates retail clinics, plans to open 35 clinics in California by the end of 2007, according to CEO Dave Mandelkern (Yi, Los Angeles Times, 7/18).