Retail Medicine a Big Shift for 2014

John Commins, January 6, 2014

"So much is going on in the remote monitoring space as well as with the big box retailers that we saw embrace the flu shot trend a few years ago. These players are thinking to themselves about many other opportunities beyond just a flu shot," Connolly says.

"We are seeing that consumers are willing to not necessarily go to the hospital or even their primary care doctor now because they are thinking about price point in the high-deductible plan and they think to themselves this is pretty basic, it is more of a commodity. So maybe for an X-ray or lab work they can find alternative care venues that are much cheaper."

Connolly says some traditional healthcare providers have seen the writing on the walls.

"There are some that have picked up on this very quickly and are putting logical pricing information right out in the public because they feel very good and confident about their value. There are some that are clearly struggling with this idea," she says.

See Also: Kill Your Chargemaster

"Part of it with the hospitals and health systems is the arcane chargemaster. They are still grappling with what do to with that. People don't realize hospitals negotiate discounts for larger purchasers. All of that is true, but there is going to have to be some real simplification here and some very savvy communication for the average consumer."

In the meantime, we should expect a bumpy period as healthcare transitions away from mostly fee-for-service and toward value-based payment models and population health management.

John Commins

John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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