Author Topic: Good for WalMart,Target , Walgreens and CVS  (Read 850 times)

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BT

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Good for WalMart,Target , Walgreens and CVS
« on: May 24, 2007, 01:05:17 AM »

Wal-Mart health clinics divide US medics
By Christopher Bowe in New York

Published: May 23 2007 16:18 | Last updated: May 23 2007 16:18

Can a retail store deliver healthcare? Wal-Mart, the largest US retailer, thinks so, together with CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid, the leading US drug store chains. But as all four move ahead with plans to expand “walk-in clinics” in their stores, the doctors of Illinois are fighting back.

The state could be the first to impose stricter regulation on the new generation of walk-in clinics, where nurse-practitioners can examine patients, conduct basic procedures such as inoculation, and prescribe for minor illnesses, while charging less than a doctor’s practice.

Massachusetts is also considering whether and how to license the state’s first retail clinics, proposed by drugstore group CVS and its MinuteClinics unit. And the industry expects more challenges ahead.

Walk-in clinics represent one of the most advanced and aggressive attempts by US business and entrepreneurs to drive reform of the healthcare system.

This year hundreds will be opened in some of the US’s largest drugstore and retail groups, and thousands of clinics could be running in the next decade.

Advocates say the clinics will improve access to healthcare and reduce costs; that they will reduce more expensive visits to hospital emergency rooms; and that they will catch some illnesses before they become serious and costly. As a result, physicians will have more time for complex cases.

But the clinics also have a direct impact on doctors, who see themselves as the gatekeepers of common, everyday healthcare.

Dr Rodney Osborn, president of the Illinois State Medical Society, said: “This is a brand new animal. That’s why we believe legislation is important to guarantee patient safety ... They’re not putting these things in to provide healthcare; these people are businessmen.”

Dr Arnold Milstein, chief physician at Mercer health consultancy, says doctors are playing on patient fears to thwart change.

“[Doctors] wrap themselves in the holy garb of quality ... completely ignoring the facts that all the research shows current care stinks,” Dr Milstein says. “The weaknesses that are endemic in the current healthcare system are being trotted out to block innovation and change.”

The clinics see themselves as advancing medical care, not diminishing its quality, with a retailer’s focus on service: the slogan of CVS’s MinuteClinic, for instance, is “You’re sick, we’re quick”.

Hal Rosenbluth, chairman of clinic company Take Care and head of the industry group Convenient Care Association, says any pushback against the clinics actually validates their existence, and adds that the concept is here to stay.

“That’s what people are clamouring for - they want healthcare on their terms not the system’s,” says Rosenbluth. Doctors’ quality concerns, he says, are merely anti-change “turf protection.”

On a national level, the American Medical Association, the doctors’ lobby group, has taken a cautious tone, issuing guidelines last year for clinics. They call for a well-defined scope of services; standardised medical protocols; and clear definitions of medical qualifications. They also call for closer doctor oversight, and emphasise the importance of referrals to doctors, which the leading clinics promise.

In any case, retail clinic companies are expanding nationally. In May, Walgreens bought Take Care, following CVS’s MinuteClinic acquisition last year. Both Wal-Mart and Target, the leading discounters, are opening clinics.

Their national footprint could eventually support the development of a much-discussed but elusive electronic records system for the US, as the clinics build patient databases, see more patients, and give patients printouts of their diagnoses and treatments.

Nevertheless, there are still some tough questions, raised by doctors and others, on the clinics and whether they can deliver what they promise.

First, despite US business’s push to inject and increase consumer principles into healthcare, it is still unproven whether people understand how to shop for medical care like other products, or even whether they want to do so. Clinics also could be a controversial way for employers to push more health costs on to employees.

Second, retail clinics claim they will increase doctors’ business by referring new patients or allowing them to spend more time on higher-value tasks.

But experts agree that they could be sapping high-margin, easy tasks like vaccinations from doctors’ businesses, and that clinics do not yet generate significant referral business to doctors.

Third, the clinics are for-profit businesses. Dr Osborn, of Illinois, says: “They’re not at this to increase doctors’ business; they’re in it to make money. That’s a smokescreen.”

More than anything, however, the retail clinics show that business is pushing for change on its own without waiting for government. And walk-in clinics could do for US healthcare what low-cost Southwest Airlines did for the airline industry, by making healthcare better, faster, and cheaper.

“This is a conceivably disruptive innovation of our happy little empire,” Dr Milstein says.


http://www.ft.com/cms/s/5b301a64-093c-11dc-a349-000b5df10621.html

kimba1

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Re: Good for WalMart,Target , Walgreens and CVS
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2007, 03:58:10 AM »
tricky
it is a for profit business
why cure a illness when it`s more profitable to just treat them for life
ex. aids
notice very little talk of curing.

BT

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Re: Good for WalMart,Target , Walgreens and CVS
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2007, 11:21:21 AM »
Why treat the flu?

Why set a broken bone?

Why do simple stitches?


Xavier_Onassis

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Re: Good for WalMart,Target , Walgreens and CVS
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2007, 12:46:10 PM »
ricky
it is a for profit business
why cure a illness when it`s more profitable to just treat them for life
ex. aids
notice very little talk of curing.

====================================================
The pharmaceutical companies would rather treat a chronic condition  such as AIDS, herpes, diabetes or arthritis with regular doses of pills than a one-shot vaccine. Big Pharma would rather spend a zillion dolars on a symptom alleviating condition than a vaccine, because there is more money in it.

 But this would be true of drugstore clinics as well.

My doctor has cured me of a variety of things: shingles, various infections, bronchitis to mention a few.

Dentists are particularly bad about this: "you must pay me or continue to suffer: I could prescribe a pill for your infection, but I won't, because that way I won't get paid."

Lots of people don't visit the doctor because they have no idea of what it will cost and they don't have insurance.
Others don't have the time to wait three hours for an appointment.
Others cannot afford to take a day off to see the doctor.

The clinics could be open much later and could post prices. They are a really good idea.

We have emergency care clinics here in Miami, which will take care of you much faste3r and cheaper than the hospital emergency rooms. Most are open 24-7.
"Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana."

Amianthus

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Re: Good for WalMart,Target , Walgreens and CVS
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2007, 12:57:21 PM »
My doctor has cured me of a variety of things: shingles

Didn't realize there was a cure for this. Must not have made the medical literature yet. Did he replace all your body's cells, or did he somehow manage to identify only those cells with the RNA of the varicella-zoster virus?

Shingles is, after all, an outbreak of the same virus that causes chickenpox, late in life. If you never had chickenpox, you'll never get shingles. If you had chickenpox, the virus stays in your body for the rest of your life, and can cause shingles. There is no "cure" because the virus actually injects it's RNA into your cells and you live with it for the rest of your life.

I have a feeling that he gave you the VZV vaccine (Zostavax) which only prevents shingles in about half the cases where outbreak would occur.
Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight. (Benjamin Franklin)

kimba1

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Re: Good for WalMart,Target , Walgreens and CVS
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2007, 01:53:43 PM »
Why treat the flu?
thier is no broadbase vaccine for the flu.
so people get`s vaccinated yearly
I sure do

Why set a broken bone?
they haven`t figured out away to get away with that one

Why do simple stitches?
same deal.
haven`t figure out how to get away with it.

BT

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Re: Good for WalMart,Target , Walgreens and CVS
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2007, 02:29:20 PM »
The point being that these walk in clinics will deliver health care services in an efficient manner they same way they sell tires, optical services and financial services. A cure is not necessarily the goal. You can't cure the flu, what you can do is alleviate the discomfort. Eye doctors don't cure vision problems, they alleviate the symptoms. Sooner or later you will have to replace tires.

Banks don't cure poverty, they provide money management services.

I doubt these clinics will do angioplasty. They might help monitor diabetes or blood pressure at the fraction of the cost. And that is very much a good thing.



kimba1

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Re: Good for WalMart,Target , Walgreens and CVS
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2007, 03:41:18 PM »
yes .these clinic will be a good thing
I`m just pointing out the very possibility the best possible care may not be given in the future.
ex. HMO


Lanya

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Re: Good for WalMart,Target , Walgreens and CVS
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2007, 06:02:31 PM »
Lots of people get no health care now.  This is a wonderful idea.  The docs don't like it because the nurse practicioners will take their business, do it better, and with better bedside manner. Every time I've been treated by one, she or he has been more thorough than the doctor.  Every time.
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