Monday, October 18, 2010

700 clinics are operating across the country at chain stores including Wal-Mart, CVS, Walgreens .

( photo from 2009 New York Times article)
Some CVS stores, like this one in Northvale, N.J., have MinuteClinics, at usually staffed by nurse practitioners or physician assistants and set up to treat urgent, yet minor, conditions.

Urgent care centers seem to be popping up all over in my home state of Michigan. The clinics can be more convenient then visiting the local emergency room. However are they safe for the HCV community or in other populations suffering from chronic conditions?

These drug store clinics have been making news this month with some interesting back stories .

bUrgent Care Clinics Becoming More Popular in Health Care
"Since 2007, the number of urgent care clinics in the U.S. has increased by more than 7% to 8,700, according to the Urgent Care Association of America.

From USA Today
Urgent Care Clinics Carve Out a Key Health Care Niche"

From a Reuters report on Oct 8th; "CVS has invested heavily in its walk-in MinuteClinic medical clinics, and plans to double the number of locations to 1,000 by 2015."k

A news clip ( see below) from has a few tips worth watching.

Are Drug Store Clinics Safe?

The concept has been called urgent care "lite": Patients who are tired of waiting days to see a doctor for bronchitis, pinkeye or a sprained ankle can instead walk into a nearby drugstore and, at lower cost, with brief waits, see a doctor or a nurse and then fill a prescription on the spot.

But with their increasing popularity, the clinics are drawing mounting scrutiny. Several states including New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and California are examining ways to more closely monitor the clinics, which are overseen by a hodgepodge of state agencies applying a wide and inconsistent range of regulations.

State officials acknowledged the clinics' appeal. But they said they were looking into possible violations of state law prohibiting unauthorized corporations like pharmacies, which are licensed only to provide pharmaceutical services, from delivering medical care.

Read Full Article

No comments:

Post a Comment