Retail Health Clinics: Executive Summary of a Policy Position Paper From the American College of Physicians

Executive Summary

Retail health clinics are walk-in clinics located in retail stores or pharmacies that are typically staffed by nurse practitioners or physician assistants. When they entered the marketplace in the early 2000s, retail clinics offered a limited number of services for low-acuity conditions that were paid for out of pocket by the consumer. Over the past decade, business models for these clinics have evolved to accept public and private health insurance, and some are expanding their services to include diagnosis, treatment, and management of chronic conditions. Retail health clinics are one of several methods of health care delivery that challenge the traditional primary care delivery model. The positions and recommendations offered by the American College of Physicians in this paper are intended to establish a framework that underscores patient safety, communication, and collaboration among retail health clinics, physicians, and patients.

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