A recently published study by the RAND Corporation examined whether a trip to one of the growing number of retail clinics would disrupt doctor-patient relationships.
The results were mixed:
- Those visiting retail clinics were less likely to return to their primary care physician.
- Yet, no evidence revealed that retail clinic visits disrupted preventative medical care or diabetes management (key measurement of quality of care).
Rachel O. Reid, a study co-author noted,
"Retail clinics are still in their infancy and over time we may or may not observe a more negative impact of retail clinics on preventive care or continuity of medical care."
The study included a review of Aetna insurance claims from 2007-2009. Patients visiting a retail clinic with an acute condition in 2008 were identified. Researchers compared the retail clinic patient's pattern of care with those who visited a primary care physician for an acute condition during the same timeframe. >>Read more