Consumer Preference for Retail Clinics Steadily Grows, Poll Shows

Adults' use of retail health clinics has steadily climbed in the past four years, according to a new HealthDay poll, as 27 percent of adults indicated they visited a retail clinic in the past two years — up from 7 percent of adults in 2008.

The poll found younger adults were more likely to use retail clinics, which are found in pharmacies, superstores and workplaces. Forty percent of adults ages 25 to 29 had used a retail or work-based clinic, while only 15 percent of adults over the age of 65 did so.

People were most likely to visit a retail clinic with routine complaints, such as colds, flu-like symptoms, minor cuts and/or wounds, or routine care, such as flu shots.  

The most frequent reasons cited for using a retail or work-based clinic was that those settings didn't require an appointment, had a convenient location, involved short waiting times, had accessible hours and were affordable and/or accepting of the person's particular insurance, according to the survey. Roughly 75 percent of those who visited a retail clinic were insured at the time of their visit.

The poll was conducted online and included responses from more than 3,000 adults.

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