"The Clinic" at Walmart - Operated by "Family Medicine Specialists"



Medical clinics debut at Walmart stores and the photos from one Chicago location are included in this blog post (click to enlarge the images to see the details such as pricing, etc.).

Walmart has been adding health clinics to its stores during the last 3 years as part of its drive for "one-stop shopping." There were 100 in-store clinics in 21 states in 2010.

The clinics are staffed by nurse practitioners. Does that fit the description of "Family Medicine Specialists"?

Services include $14 for a pregnancy test, $29 for a flu vaccine, and $49 for treatment of a sinus infection or physical examination. The most expensive services cost $75, for treatment of bladder infections and ear wax removal.



CVS Pharmacy is not too far behind with their own model for in-store clinics called the "Minute Clinic". In fact, Minute Clinic is the largest retail clinic chain in the country, with 600 clinics in CVS stores in 24 states. Almost half of Minute Clinic's clientele don't have a primary-care doctor of their own.

A patient's mother: "The beauty of it is we're maybe 30 feet from diagnosis to pharmacy. I'm very busy and this is one-stop shopping."

References:

Medical clinic debuts at city's Walmart store
Medical clinics in retail settings are booming - USA Today.
Number of patients receiving care at retail clinics (Target, Walmart, etc.) increases http://goo.gl/9B74c
"The Family Doctor, Minus the M.D." - NYTimes keeps pushing the idea of "The Nurse as Family Doctor" http://buff.ly/R1rbn9

Comments from Twitter:

@langdon: False advertising. That would actually be sanctioned here in Ontario as per recent guidance about specialty titles from our College.

@napernurse: Pharm son works for #Walgreens. Costs them $5 to be seen by NP for whatever :) Can just walk-in & now WAG on "Blue Button" campaign.

Reinaldo B. @basanezrx: at least they are clear about the pricing, same as the clinics in Walgreens. I’d love to see specific prices for hospitals.

3 comments:

  1. As a family physician, this is nothing short of insulting. Nothing happens in a bubble Walmart, from now on, I'll only recommend patients fill prescriptions at target or dillons.

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  2. As a Board Certified Family Medicine physician, I am appalled that they are saying it's operated by Family Medicine Specialists. Nothing against mid-level practitioners, but it really is false advertising. I have seen some sub-standard care delivered and more antibiotics prescribed than is recommended.

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  3. Josh and Doug I am not sure if you are aware, but many people can't afford the ridiculous fees associated with healthcare these days.For example, cholesterol screening for 10$ vs the hundreds for the doctor and then a lab fee. And in some greedy cases you will have to PAY another fee to get the results. My son was recently seen for bronchitis along with a school and sports physical, the total charge was 50$.If he wasn't better within a few days he could return for no charge. As far as sub-standard care, as a nurse I see that a problem everywhere. For the common health services being preformed, there is little room for error.

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