For Americans needing an annual check-up, a flu vaccination or infection treated, retail clinics are an easy way to do that. Users point to convenience — extended operating hours, walk-in visits and convenient locations.
That’s the primary reason retail health clinics are booming, according to a new report. But despite persistent predictions of massive growth on the horizon, it’s still not as much as it could be — or will be — researchers note.
But that could change in a matter of months because of the influx of newly insured patients under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. PPACA could “increase demand for retail services as more people become insured and it becomes increasingly difficult to find access to primary care,” researchers said.
The report points to other good news for retail clinics: For one, more younger families — those with a family respondent aged 18-49 — and families with children are likely to use the clinics. More patients also are utilizing the clinics for vaccinations (26 percent) and prescription renewals (21 percent), not just diagnosis and treatment of a new illness or symptom.