Convenience key to retail clinics

Aug. 12, 2008 at 10:16 PM

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Aug. 12 (UPI) -- In U.S. communities with retail health clinics, 1 in 6 parents have used a clinic to provide their child with medical care, a survey indicates.

"The vast majority of parents were taking their children to a retail clinic -- located within pharmacies, supermarkets or discount stores -- as a substitute for regular care, either at a doctor's office, emergency department or urgent care clinic," Dr. Matthew M. Davis, director of the National Poll on Children's Health, said in a statement.

The University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health also says that:

-- Seventy-eight percent of retail clinics were covered at least in part by health insurance.

-- Nearly two-thirds of the parents whose children had already used a retail clinic report they were likely to use a clinic again.

-- Seventy percent of parents who took their children to a retail clinic considered taking their child to the doctor's office, but 40 percent said they could not get an appointment.

People who use retail clinics -- staffed by nurse practitioners or physician's assistants -- do not need an appointment for treatment of problems such as rashes, sore throats, pink eye and ear infections.

The survey used data from a national online survey using a random sample of 2,064 adults weighted to reflect U.S. population figures.

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