Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE
Yesterday I presented my opinion on the May 14 New York Times article on “Retail Medical Clinics”. Today I am going I will refer you to links from the American Academy of Family Practice to see their response to this developing epidemic. I believe the AAFP approach is a good one. They have chosen to define the criteria for an effective well physician supervised clinic. The subtext to me is they are also preparing their membership to respond and neutralize these clinics.
I have run some financial numbers on the potential cash flow of the clinics. I will be very hard for them to be profitable unless they see large volumes of patients with few employees. This could effect patient through put, and generate long waits or rapid visit times. Rapid visit times can lead to decrease quality.
Again, these clinics do not answer the real problems facing the healthcare system. They are access to care to the uninsured, affordable and cost efficient delivery of care, and increasing the quality of care for persons with chronic disease.
If we were to solve the above mentioned problems we would be decreasing the complication rates for persons with chronic disease. This decrease in complication rates would decrease the cost of delivering care in the healthcare system by at least 50%.
Remember at the outset of this blog, I stated that no one asked physicians what the problems were. If they did they did not pay attention to the physician. Hopefully we can get the consumer to pay attention to the physician.