Trend: Retail clinics expanding range of services

The original retail clinic model largely focused on providing cheap, easy-to-access primary care services--a means for consumers to, say, get that sore throat treated without making an appointment. Of late, however, some retail clinics have moved beyond that mission, hoping to generate more revenue for existing clinics rather than invest in new launches.

In recent times, retail clinics operated by Walgreen Co. (Take Care) and CVS Caremark (MinuteClinic) are expanding to offer a broader range of services, including specialized injections for chronic conditions like asthma, treatment for skin conditions and minor wounds, "sprains and strains" care, and more. What's more, they're rolling out pilots in which they're offering breathing treatments and infusions of biotech drugs.

MinuteClinic, for example, added treatment for sprains, acne, wound care, motion sickness and tuberculosis testing this spring. Meanwhile, Take Care has launched a pilot in Florida offering injections for asthma and osteoporosis patients.

Not every retailer is taking this approach, however. Wal-Mart, notably, continues to offer the stripped-down model of retail clinic care focused solely on low-end primary care services.

To learn more about this trend:
- read this Chicago Tribune piece

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