Thursday, August 2, 2007

Convenient Care Clinics

Web Golinkin, President and CEO of RediClinic, wrote an article in today's Wall Street Journal extolling the virtues of convenient care providers. Golinkin has familiarity with the subject, as RediClinic is one of the largest convenient care providers in the U.S.

Golinkin calls these clinics "[o]ne of the most promising developments" in health care reform. He says that they provide patients easier access to routine care with affordable pricing.

There are currently about 400 such clinics nationwide and Golinkin predicts that there could be several thousand more in the next few years.

Although the medical community was suspicious of convenient care in the beginning, many physicians and professional organizations changed their view when they saw how rapidly consumers embraced the concept and how operators provide high-quality care within a limited scope of practice, treat many patients who do not have established physician relationships (an estimated 30% of all convenient care patients to date), and refer many others. The American Academy of Family Physicians, which represents more than 94,000 family practitioners, recognized that convenient care clinics were filling a need. Rather than opposing the clinics, it published standards of care that it suggested convenient care operators should follow. Operators gladly complied because they had been meeting or exceeding these standards. The Convenient Care Association, which represents more than 20 of the largest operators, subsequently published more stringent standards that their members are now required to meet.

Golinkin is also director and co-founder of the Convenient Care Association.

SOURCE: "Health Care When You Want It" 08/02/07
stock photo courtesy of Michael Connors

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