NerdWallet: Drugstore health clinics are fast and convenient. What’s the catch?

by | Feb 2, 2023 | Stock Market

This article is reprinted by permission from NerdWallet.  You walk into a local chain drugstore to buy shampoo and notice that the in-store health clinic is offering flu shots, and there’s no wait. You’re overdue for that vaccination, so you get it  — and accept the clinician’s offer of a blood-pressure screening.

You’re done just 15 minutes after you walked in, satisfied that you’ve effortlessly received good care with little or nothing out of pocket, since the clinic accepts your insurance. Is there a catch? Maybe. Would your primary care physician, with your full medical history in front of her, give a different interpretation of your blood pressure numbers than the retail clinic’s nurse practitioner did? Did the clinic even send your blood pressure data to your doctor? If you don’t have a primary care doctor, should you accept the nurse practitioner’s nonchalant remark that your blood pressure is “a bit high”? For every service you receive in a retail health clinic, similar questions might arise. But there’s no denying that these clinics — typically in pharmacies, supermarkets and other big-box stores — offer something that too many Americans are short on: convenient access to some basic, high-quality health care services, often at lower cost than in a traditional doctor’s office, physician-staffed urgent care center or emergency room. Plus: FDA says it will not regulate CBD and calls on Congress to actWill retail health care promote your long-term health? The bottom line: If you’re thinking about getting health services from a retail clinic, it’s wise to consider how this mode of health care delivery will serve you in the long term — not just how quickly you can cross off your to-do’s. “We have a plethora of care options now,” says Dr. Ateev Mehrotra, a professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School and a hospital …

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