Former HCFO Grantee Comments on Implications of the Rise in Urgent Care Centers

Publication Date: 
September 22, 2014

Urgent care centers are an emerging trend that provides patients with enhanced access to care. In a recent article in the Asbury Park Press, former HCFO grantee Ateev Mehrotra, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School and RAND Corp., commented on the medical community’s reaction to these centers: “The issue is, when people have this new convenient option that pops up, are they going to use care when they otherwise would stay home.” In his HCFO-funded study, Mehrotra and colleagues examined a related trend in care delivery —retail health clinics— and the impact of these clinics on health care utilization and costs. Mehrotra and colleagues found that patients who visit a retail clinic are subsequently less likely to seek care from a primary care physician, which has implications for long-term care continuity.