Why doctors need to embrace retail clinics

A nice op-ed in Forbes.com outlines some basic strategies to revamp our generalist system.

Two suggestions, increasing payment and addressing defensive medicine, are not new and I certainly agree they need to be part of the answer. They have been discussed comprehensively in my past posts.

One idea, allying with retail clinics, is something that many physician groups foolishly oppose. But as the opinion piece asserts, “basic care is better than no care at all,” and patients will eventually find their way to these venues if primary care access continues to be poor.

Hospitals and physician offices need to form alliances with retail clinics early on, or else corporate entities like Wal-Mart and CVS will start to have a growing influence in the health care debate. And you can be sure that their interests certainly won’t include the welfare of primary care doctors.