Traditionally, retail clinics have been used as a convenient, simple way to avoid the hassle of visiting a doctor or the emergency room. But state and local officials in Texas are in talks with Intrepid Holdings to bring its Healthy Access clinics to poor and underserved communities as an alternative to overcrowded urban ERs. The clinics will offer care for easily-treatable illnesses such as infections and colds but it will also provide patients with flu shots, health screenings and a range of preventative care options.
Just yesterday we reported that Florida's Memorial Hospital Jacksonville has started a program to re-direct non-emergency patients to nearby clinics in order to free up expensive--and limited--ER resources. That initiative came from the hospital, but in this case the Texas state and local government are driving the retail clinic expansion. Perhaps programs that are financially beneficial for hospitals can also have a positive impact on public health.
- read the article from the Houston Business Journal