Study: Number of People Visiting Retail Clinics Quadruples

The number of patients visiting retail clinics has rocketed from 1.48 million in 2006 to 5.97 million in 2009 — more than a fourfold increase, according to a new study from Health Affairs.

The study is based on information for 2007 through 2009 from MinuteClinic, Take Care and Little Clinic. These are the three largest retail clinic operators in the United States, comprising 81 percent of the industry.

Here are some major takeaways from the study.

• About 65 percent of retail clinic patients do not have a primary care physician, but about 71 percent have Medicare, Medicaid or commercial health insurance.
• In 2006, 21.8 percent of clinic visits were for preventive care. That more than doubled in 2007 to 47.5 percent. The portion of visits for vaccines alone also more-than doubled, in that time span, growing from 19.7 percent to 40.8 percent.

• October and November were peak months for the number of clinic visits, mostly due to flu vaccinations.

• About 44 percent of retail clinic visits occurred when physician offices were likely to be closed, including weekday evenings or weekends.

More Articles on Retail Clinics:

Retail Clinics Expected to Double by 2018
Number of Retail Clinics Dropped During June
17 Largest Retail Clinic Operators in the United States

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