Tuesday, April 8, 2008

How many politicians does it take to provide emergency medical care?

None, the market will do it.

Doctors with Columbia's MedStar Health soon will provide urgent care services at area Rite Aid (OOTC:RADCO) (NYSE:RAD) stores, through a partnership the organizations plan to announce today.

"Health care has been late to having a consumer focus, and consumers are increasingly demanding service in a variety of settings that are much more convenient," said Eric R. Wagner, a senior vice president of managed care for MedStar, a nonprofit. "We're taking health care to a place where consumers already are."

Such convenience-care clinics have mushroomed since their modest beginnings in Minnesota in 2000. Today, more than 800 such clinics exist across the country in places such as Target and Walgreens (NYSE:WAG) , and that number is expected to nearly double by the end of the year, according to industry trade group Convenient Care Association, or CCA. Most are staffed by nurse practitioners, or physician's assistants, with doctor oversight because it is less expensive and there is a shortage of doctors.

1 comment:

  1. One problem hospitals have had, historically, has been the reluctance of physicians to work at controlling costs. And how to solve that problem? (1) Pysician-owned hospitals. (2) Making physcians co-owners of hospitals. (This has also raised physician awareness of payment issues as well). Suddenly the bottom line matters.