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Walk-In Clinics in Walmart?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by Nicola1926, Jul 27, 2006.

  1. Nicola1926

    Nicola1926 Member
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    Hey, I was reading on MSN where these walk in clinics are springing up like weeds in places like Wal-Mart, CVS, and RiteAid. These clinics are seeing people who are don't want to wait to see the doctor or don't want to pay the cost of seeing a doctor. The cost to visit one of these clinics are in some cases a fourth of what it would cost to see a physician. These clinics are being operated by NP and PA who see patients for basic health issues(vaccinations, skin infections,sore throats, etc). Anyhow, do you all think there should be a stop to this because these clinics could eventually threaten the livelyhood doctors?
     
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  3. DrChandy

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    I think this is great since this means that the public will have access to primary care despite physician shortages. Since complex medical procedures/emergencies/etc will not be tended to at these clinics, there will always be a demand for these services through hospitals and physicians. The demand for physicians will always be there provided you are in field where the supply of medical services cannot be filled in by other healthcare professionals. All in all, I think it's a great idea since it helps patients by giving them access to healthcare whereas primary care physicians are helped in the easing of patient flow which could lead to improved quality of patient care.
     
  4. FutureDocDO

    FutureDocDO 1K Member
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    I don't like the idea but it looks like that is the direction it's going. In that case I think NPs as well as RNs working in those environment should have malpractice insurance. :D
     
  5. Buckeye(OH)

    Buckeye(OH) 5K+ Member
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    Ill probably still just go to the ER if I need something.
     
  6. Junkster

    Junkster Senior Member
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    I think it's good idea in terms of people who need care. This will free up physicians to see patients who really do need their attention instead of just seeing someone who needed to be told that it's just a rash and that it'll go away.

    It was a Newsweek article, right? I think I read is last night.
     
  7. samdwi

    samdwi Senior Member
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    Both the AMA and AOA oppose this i.e. nurses and PAs working esentially unsupervised. They do not have the training to diagnose complex illnesses which manifest with common signs and symptoms, and reports abound of such mistakes.

    Further, such clinics usually have maybe one physician overseeing several outlets, and he/she is the guy that ends up taking on the malpractice and liability without having direct patient contact.

    Also, the argument that such outlets will provide better access to primary care in underserved areas is untrue - it will provide access, but not quality - which negates any gain in care. Nurses are indeed a very useful part of the healthcare team, but their scope of practice has its limits, and they are trying to increase their revenue at a physician's expense, and doing patients a disservice.
     
  8. nvshelat

    nvshelat Senior Member
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    To my knowledge, in most states, these mid-level practitioners need physician oversight, so they wouldn't be completely unsupervised. Back in the day, company doctors were a big thing, particularly for the Railroad companies. They would hire "company docs" and if workers wanted reimbursements for their visits, they would only be able to visit these company docs. Not surprisingly these company docs deemed workers eligible to work even when they were unhealthy. Is the same thing now happening, only with RNs and NPs? WalMart's incentive is clear - an overwhelming amount of their workers are on Medicaid; if they have a clinic within the store, their workers can get checked out and come back to work quickly, leaving them with fewer absentee workers.

    The question is, who owns and operates these clinics??
     
  9. Junkster

    Junkster Senior Member
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  10. Kubed

    Kubed Mostly Harmless
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  11. NY Musicologist

    NY Musicologist Career Changer
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    I'd like to see this thread moved over to the healthcare issues forum where folks who don't normally look in the DO forum can easily find & comment. Mods...??
     
  12. DrChandy

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    You would be surprised to find out otherwise, especially among veteran nurses who can be very skilled at Dx and who have been working in the field for many years.
     

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