Big Pain or Big Gain? Important Factors for Hospitals Considering Partnerships With Retail Clinics

Published by Becker’s Hospital Review

Hospitals and health systems partnering with retail clinics, such as CVS’ MinuteClinic and Walgreens’ Take Care Clinic, is a growing trend. Recently, New Orleans-based Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center and the LSU Healthcare Network partnered with area Take Care Clinics and Detroit-based Henry Ford Health System partnered with MinuteClinics. Although the partnerships with health systems are relatively new, retail clinics have been growing increasingly common for years. As of July 1, 2011 there were 1,251 retail clinics in the United States, an increase of 74 from the previous year, according to a July 2011 Merchant Medicine report.

There are a variety of potential benefits motivating partnerships between health systems and retail clinics, including greater access to care and lower costs. However, hospitals and health systems still face challenges, such as relying on a retail-based entity to deliver healthcare services. Experts discuss these pros and cons of hospital-retail clinic relationships and what factors healthcare leaders should consider when thinking about forming such a relationship.

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