Paging Dr. Walgreen; where America seems to be going for their immediate healthcare needs.
Where do you go for your healthcare needs? For most of us, we go to our regular doctor however, often our regular doctors have doctors hours, rather than hours that work for us. Sometimes, you need to take the morning or the day off to make that appointment. At other times, there is Dr. Walgreen.
Who is Dr. Walgreen? Dr. Walgreen is representative of the current movement towards clinics in your local Walgreens, Walmart, CVS and even many of the new free standing walk in clinics that have recently sprung up in your community of the last few years. These clinics offer lower cost care, with PA (physician assistants) or Nurse Practitioner’s who are trained to deliver high quality care for many of the common conditions that you would expect your primary care doctor to perform.
Why would you want a physician extender such as a PA or a nurse practitioner and how to you know they are qualified? It is quite likely that your regular doctor has been using these types of healthcare extenders for years, and they have likely worked with you in their offices already. They actually are a huge problem solver in access to healthcare services. Many of these clinics are contracted with your healthcare carrier to be paid on a per diem basis as a better choice than the local emergency room, which is very expensive and over qualified to handle the most basic health problems.
Paging Dr. Walgreen; Recently, Walgreens reported that they are seeing huge increase in their on site clinic utilization. Since Walgreens, and other walk in clinics are offering hours you can access, you can go after work to visit the healthcare practitioner, rather than taking time off which is harder and harder these days for the average American. If you are in your own small business, you know how difficult it is to just close up and spend half a day waiting for your doctor, so names like the Minute Clinic, as well as the Walgreens clinic are growing in popularity.
Since many of these clinics are also seeing you for a much lower cost than many doctors would, those who are uninsured or perhaps, insured under Medicaid may find that these clinics are some of the few places they can go for care without a long wait.
Check out the Walgreen’s report here
More Patients Turning to Retail Clinics for Chronic Care and Preventive Services, New Walgreens Study Shows
DEERFIELD, Ill., July 17, 2014 – Retail clinics continue to play a growing and important role in health care delivery in the U.S., and a new research study from Walgreens (NYSE: WAG) (Nasdaq:WAG) shows patients are relying more on nurse practitioners at retail clinics to provide chronic and preventive health services. The study also reveals marked increases in the number of patients who are making return visits to clinics.
he Walgreens study found the percentage of visits to Healthcare Clinic locations for preventive services, screening and chronic visit utilization (combined) increased from 4 percent in 2007 to 17 percent in 2013. The study also found the annual percentage of return patient visits to Healthcare Clinic climbed from 15 percent in 2007, to more than 50 percent in both 2012 and 2013.
“Access to care in the community, and the growing need to support patients with chronic diseases are two of the biggest challenges facing our health care system,” said Harry Leider, M.D., Walgreens chief medical officer. “This further demonstrates that retail clinics can be instrumental in providing that care, driving patient engagement, and working in coordination with physicians and other primary care providers to foster continuity of care to support more patients.”
Additional study findings include:
For patients age 17 and under, visits for both preventive services and vaccinations increased by 180 percent For patients ages 18 to 64, visits for health testing increased by 90 percent, while overall preventive health service visits increased 66 percent For patients age 65 and older, acute visits increased 84 percent “More consumers are relying on Healthcare Clinic and our nurse practitioners as a trusted source of quality care,” said Suzanne Hansen, Walgreens group vice president, Healthcare Clinic. “Our expansion of chronic and preventive services last year is helping to drive more return visits from our patients, which is key to the patient-provider relationship and our ability to deliver personalized care.”
The findings were presented last week at the National Nurse Practitioner Symposium in Keystone, Colo., and were based on a retrospective longitudinal study examining patient visits to Healthcare Clinic at select Walgreens from 2007 through 2013. The symposium gathered industry experts to share insights and strategies for the specialty and traditional pharmacy benefit. With the current locations and clinic count, the Convenient Care Association estimates that 33 percent of Americans live within 10 minutes of a retail healthcare clinic. The variety of services offered at Healthcare Clinic at select Walgreens has increased over the course of the past several years from providing vaccinations at the beginning, to diagnosing and treating a number of chronic conditions today.
Healthcare Clinic at select Walgreens locations are open seven days a week, with extended evening and weekend hours, and offer walk-in availability as well as same-day online appointment scheduling. Healthcare Clinics accept most major insurance plans as well as Medicare and Medicaid, and offer affordable, transparent pricing for those without insurance coverage. Healthcare Clinic’s board-certified nurse practitioners and physician assistants deliver patient-centric care,driving patient satisfaction rates that are consistently greater than 90 percent.
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