HCFO Researcher Quoted in Article on Retail Clinics

Publication Date: 
November 21, 2016

In a recent piece for Kaiser Health News, Michelle Andrews discusses findings from a recent study from RAND Corporation that found that even when there is a retail clinic nearby, consumers are just as likely to go to the emergency department for low-level problems. The researchers note that up to 20 percent of emergency department visits are for low-level conditions that could be treated in retail or urgent care clinics, and moving those visits out of the emergency department could save $4 billion annually. Former HCFO grantee Ateev Mehrotra, M.D., Harvard Medical School, co-authored the study and notes that insurers may want to rethink their strategy to encourage consumers to use retail health clinics and reduce pricey emergency department visits. In Mehrotra’s HCFO-funded study, he and colleagues found that about two-thirds of visits to retail clinics are new utilization, and only one-third are patients who otherwise would have gone to their doctor’s office. Findings from both studies were also featured in the Washington Post, U.S. News, Healthcare IT News, Governing, Daily Breeze, and Springfield News-Sun.