Findings from HCFO-Funded Study Featured in Article on Retail Clinics

Publication Date: 
June 2, 2016

Asheville’s Sona Pharmacy and Clinic recently joined the retail clinic movement, combining a community pharmacy, urgent care, and primary care services under one roof. As Emily Patrick of the Citizen-Times discusses, Sona’s goal is to steer patients away from high-cost care centers by offering available, affordable and comprehensive care at retail clinics. Patrick notes, however, that retail clinics have drawn criticism from some. She references findings from a HCFO-funded study from Ateev Mehrotra, Harvard Medical School, that found 58 percent of retail clinic visits were for conditions that otherwise would have gone untreated, amounting to an increase in health care costs of $14 per person. Mehrotra notes that, “The increase in spending from new utilization trumps the savings we saw from replacing doctor visits and the emergency department.”