The growth of Convenient Care Clinics in retail settings has not led to decreased emergency department use for patients with low-acuity conditions, according to a new study published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine. Researchers looked at encounter-level data for 11 low-acuity conditions from emergency departments in 23 states (including California, New York, and Florida) between 2007 and 2012 using data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project State Emergency Department Database. Nationwide, the number of retail clinics increased from 130 in 2006 to about 1,400 in 2012. But the researchers found little difference in ED use among low-acuity-condition patients during the study period. The findings suggest that retail visits are not a substitute for ED visits.
- Association Between the Opening of Retail Clinics and Low-Acuity Emergency Department Visits. Annals of Emergency Medicine. (PDF)
- Related news item: MedCity News: http://medcitynews.com/2016/11/valuable-retail-clinics-havent-resulted-lower-er-visits/