More Americans seeking treatment at retail clinics

January 25, 2012

Your potential patients are bypassing doctors' offices and hospital emergency departments in favor of retail clinics for treating minor health concerns.

More Americans are bypassing doctors' offices and hospital emergency departments in favor of retail clinics for treating minor health concerns.

The use of retail medical clinics by adults insured by Aetna rose from 0.6 visits per 1,000 enrollees per month in 2007 to 6.5 visits per 1,000 enrollees in 2009, according to a study by the RAND Corp. The study, published in the November 2011 American Journal of Managed Care, found that in 2009 6.9% of all visits for 11 simple acute conditions were to retail clinics. Young adults, patients without a chronic condition, and patients with high incomes were the most likely to use retail clinics.