AMA members seek retail clinic ban

It looks like full-scale war is on the way. Arguing that they could endanger patients, particularly children, some attendees at the AMA's annual conference are demanding the group ask for a ban on retail clinics. Unless the AMA intervenes, "in five years, the chairs [at the AMA] meeting will be filled with representatives from Walgreens, Wal-Mart" and other retailers, one physician told the assembly. At minimum, speakers told the AMA assembly, the group should demand states and the federal government push for retail clinic regulations. If this talk is any indication, the AMA may soon be throwing its tremendous lobbying muscle behind retail clinic-related regulation. The thing is, when it comes to retail clinics the AMA isn't the only one with clout. (I don't think Wal-Mart, which plans to add 2,000 retail clinics to its stores in coming years, is going to take AMA opposition lying down.) On the other hand, physicians' concerns--both competitive and clinical--aren't going to go away, either. It will be interesting to see which side gives up ground first.

To learn more about the debate:
- read this Chicago Tribune article

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