IL bill could choke retail clinic growth

Keeping up the battle between traditional medical practices and retail clinics, the Illinois State Medical Society is trying to help push through a measure that would severely cut down on the growth of such clinics in the state. The bill, the "Retail Health Care Facility Permit Act," is largely couched in terms that propose to protect the patient, including requirements the clinics communicate extensively with established primary care physicians, limit their scope of services and retain a medical director on staff. Despite these comparatively modest requirements, an earlier version didn't pass during the 2007 legislative session.

This year, ISMS and its allies have raised the stakes. The new version of the bill slips in a provision under which retail clinics wouldn't be allowed to exist in stores that sell tobacco or alcohol products, drastically cutting down on the number of venues where the clinics can operate. This tactic, which also was proposed by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino in an effort to ban the clinics from the city, makes the real intentions of the Illinois State Medical Society fairly clear. The question, now, is whether legislators are as bent as they are on squeezing retail clinics out of the state.

To get background on this issue:
- read this medical society press release
- read this AMNews article (sub. req.)

Related Articles:
Start-up closes 23 Wal-Mart retail clinics. Report
Resource Center: Retail Clinics
Retail clinics go from concept to reality. Report
AMA demands retail clinic regs, backs off ban. Report
MA doctors protest CVS retail clinic expansion. Report
Doctors push law regulating retail clinics. Report
Retail clinics: thousands on the way? Analysis

Suggested Articles

The profit margins and management of Community Health Group raise questions about oversight of managed care insurers.

Financial experts are warning practices about the pitfalls of promoting medical credit cards to their patients.

A proposed rule issued by HHS on Tuesday would expand short-term coverage, a move Seema Verma said will have "virtually no impact" on ACA premiums.