Medical Journal: Store Clinics Modeled on Fast-Food Business

BOSTON -- An article in the New England Journal of Medicine published yesterday said in-store health clinics were modeled after fast-food restaurants, and may ultimately complement existing sources of medical care.

BOSTON -- An article in the New England Journal of Medicine published yesterday said in-store health clinics were modeled after fast-food restaurants, and may ultimately complement existing sources of medical care. “The Rise of In-Store Clinics -- Threat or Opportunity?” by Richard Bohmer of Harvard Business School, described the evolution and operation of the clinics and addressed concerns expressed by physicians about the quality of care they provide, as well as the impact on their practices. “They were deliberately modeled after McDonald‘s,” said Bohmer in a recorded interview posted on the journal‘s website. “The idea was that you would go and you would buy your health care off a menu. It was strictly a cash-and-carry business. They didn‘t originally accept insurance. They were priced at $35 to $40. The idea was that you would go, you would sign in, if there was a queue you would take a pager, go shopping, and when the pager went off, you would go back and you would have a fairly rapid treatment.” The clinics enter the market at the “low end of medical complexity,” Bohmer wrote in the article. However, they are limited in the conditions they can treat. “Consequently, it is unlikely that in their current form they will usurp the core business of primary care practitioners.”