Findings from HCFO-Funded Study on Retail Clinics Featured in Consumer Reports

Publication Date: 
July 13, 2016

In the past few years, the demand for retail clinics has grown, jumping from 24 percent of consumers using such clinics in 2011 to more than 40% today. In a piece for Consumer Reports, Beth Braverman discusses how the increase in demand for retail clinics has led to an increase in overall health care spending. She references findings from a HCFO-funded study from Ateev Mehrotra, Harvard Medical School, that found 58 percent of retail clinic visits were for conditions that otherwise would have gone untreated, amounting to an increase in health care costs of $14 per person annually. Braverman offers steps consumers can take to keep medical costs down, such as getting medical advice via phone, using pre-tax dollars, and shopping around for care. In his HCFO-funded study, Mehrotra and colleagues examined the impact of retail health clinics on health care utilization and costs.