Retail Has Limits
Rather than attempting to delay the inevitable, or attempting to compete at a retail level with businesses holding decades of expertise, physicians should instead play to their own strengths. Retail clinics are convenient and cheap, but they have their limits.
In this new era of outcomes management and value-based reimbursements primary care physicians are perfectly suited to practice at the top of their licenses to treat more complex medical issues, to oversee population health measures, and to devise care plans for patients with multiple chronic conditions.
The irony here is that for all of the kvetching we have heard in some quarters about the shift away from fee-for-service and toward value-based payments, that very reimbursement scheme may prove to be the salvation of many traditional practices. Physicians do not want to find themselves competing against retail giants for who can provide the cheapest services.
The good news is that regardless of the care setting, there is plenty of work for everyone. The venue may evolve but patient demand is not going away.