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Hospitals, Don't Fear Retail Health Clinics. Join Them.

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, January 30, 2013

Younger adults were more likely to use retail clinics, the survey found. Among respondents, 40% of adults age 25 – 29 had used a retail or work-based clinic, versus 15% of adults age 65 and older.

As someone who falls in the former age group, this makes perfect sense. Most young people don't have many major health concerns, so stopping in a CVS or Walgreens for a flu shot or a rapid strep test is just so much easier.

Why call your doctor, make an appointment for what's likely to be an inconvenient time, and take time off of work to go to that appointment, when instead you could just pop into the local pharmacy on your commute home?

The question for healthcare marketers, however, is where do hospitals fit in? Hospital leaders want to catch this young demographic now. Before they're getting married and having babies, hospitals want to recruit a new generation of brand advocates who will result in downstream revenue for years to come.

While some organizations have experimented with setting up their own branded retail clinics, in many cases it's easier to partner with the preexisting players. Pharmacy giant Walgreens is seeking to grow its in-store health clinic business by offering full primary care services in five to seven years.

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1 comments on "Don't Fear Retail Health Clinics. Join Them."


Amer Kaissi (1/30/2013 at 1:32 PM)
Hospital systems are starting to realize that in order to survive in an healthcare environment where the ACA will bring new insured patients, and where PCP shortages will only increase, a primary care strategy should be in place. As part of this strategy, affiliation with, and ownership of retail clinics is crucial. Readers can check the article "Hospital-affiliated and hospital-owned retail clinics: strategic opportunities and operational challenges" in the Journal of Healthcare Management http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21077582