The pending health care changes require costs savings to be realized throughout the system. One key player in the health care delivery channel is the retail health clinic. This sector has long promoted cost savings. While many medical professionals were concerned about the quality of care that would be delivered by these clinics, studies indicates that  retail health centers are saving consumers and health insurance companies money and they are delivering a high level of care.

A recently published study by HealthCore encourages consumers to visit retail clinics for the following conditions when they cannot see their primary care physician:

  • Minor allergic reactions
  • Mild asthma
  • Coughs, sore throat
  • Bumps, minor cuts, scrapes
  • Rashes, minor burns
  • Sprains, strains
  • Minor fevers, colds
  • Minor headaches
  • Ear or sinus pain

The HealthCore study, which reviewed consumer visits to health care facilities for urgent health care situations in 14 states found that in nearly 20% of cases, consumers could have avoided costly emergency room visits. The average cost for an ER visit during the study was $441. In comparison, the total cost to an urgent care center was $98 per visit and for retail care was $52 per visit.

As cost pressures reverberate through the health care system, more retail clinics will be promoting both their high quality of care and their low-cost delivery model.

[Source: Allergy Sufferers Can Save Money by Skipping the ER. Blue Cross Blue Shield of GA. 19 May 2010. Web. 26 May 2010.]