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Health Care Efficiency: Retail Clinics

A recent study of surveyed data on insured patients treated at retail clinics in Minnesota for three common illnesses between 2005 and 2006 found:
  • Overall costs of care for episodes initiated at retail clinics ($110) were substantially lower than those of matched episodes initiated at physician offices ($166), urgent care centers ($156), and emergency departments ($570)
  • Prescription costs were similar in retail clinics, physician offices, and urgent care centers ($21, $21, and $22, respectively), as were aggregate quality scores (63.6%, 61.0%, and 62.6%) and patient’s receipt of preventive care (14.5%, 14.2%, and 13.7%)
  • In emergency departments, average prescription costs were higher and aggregate quality scores were significantly lower than in other settings
Source: “Comparing Costs and Quality of Care at Retail Clinics With That of Other Medical Settings for 3 Common Illnesses,” Annals of Internal Medicine, abstract only, September 1, 2009, http://www.annals.org/cgi/content/abstract/151/5/321 
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September 10, 2009 - Posted by | Cost, healthcare | , ,

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