Sign Up for Email Alerts Visit us on Twitter Visit us on Facebook Visit us on YouTube Subscribe to RSS Feeds

Home > Past Briefings > Briefing Detail Page

Briefing Detail Page

Change Text Size:   Smaller Text Size   Larger Text Size   Default Text Size    

The Right Care at the Right Time: Are Retail Clinics Meeting a Need?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Urgent care centers and retail clinics are rapidly emerging within the health care system -- a partial response to rising health care costs and a possible flood of new demand for care as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is fully implemented. The number of patient visits to retail health clinics grew by 1,000 percent in just the last two years, according to a RAND Health study.

Studies also indicate about 17 percent of all visits to hospital emergency departments (EDs) across the nation could be treated at alternative care settings, such as retail medical clinics or urgent care centers. The cost of treating patients with non-emergent conditions in EDs is much higher than in alternative settings -- with respect to patients' out-of-pocket costs and overall U.S. total health spending. With a potential of $4.4 billion in annual health care savings, efforts to divert unnecessary ED admissions are gaining momentum in a time when health spending is particularly high.

Can savings and improved access to care be produced through alternative care settings? Will these settings reduce emergency room use for primary care? Do they have the potential to ease the shortage of primary care providers? Who is monitoring the quality of care being delivered at these centers? What about continuity of care and care management?

To answer these important questions and related ones, the Alliance for Health Reform and WellPoint, Inc. sponsored a June 18 briefing.


Samuel Nussbaum, M.D., WellPoint Inc., Moderator
Ateev Mehrotra, M.D., RAND Health, Speaker
Manish Oza, M.D., WellPoint Inc., Speaker
Rick Kellerman, M.D., Past-President of the American Academy of Family Physicians, Speaker
Tine Hansen-Turton, Convenient Care Association, Speaker

Transcript, Event Summary and/or Webcast and Podcast

Transcript: Briefing Transcript (Adobe Acrobat PDF), 6/18/2012
Full Webcast/Podcast: The Right Care at the Right Time: Are Retail Clinics Meeting a Need?

The full webcast and podcast for this briefing, as well as videos of individual speakers' presentations, are provided by Kaiser Family Foundation.

Speaker Presentations

Tine Hansen-Turton's Presentation - Convenient Care Association (PowerPoint), 6/18/2012
Sam Nussbaum's Presentation - WellPoint, Inc. (PowerPoint), 6/18/2012
Ateev Mehrotra's Presentation - RAND Health (PowerPoint), 6/18/2012
Manish Oza's Presentation - WellPoint, Inc. (PowerPoint), 6/18/2012

(If you want to download one or more slides from these presentations, contact us at info@allhealth or click here for instructions.)

Source Materials

Agenda (Adobe Acrobat PDF), , 6/18/2012
Materials List (Adobe Acrobat PDF), , 6/18/2012
Source List (Adobe Acrobat PDF), , 6/18/2012
Speaker Biographies (Adobe Acrobat PDF), , 6/18/2012

Offsite Materials (briefing documents saved on other websites)

WellPoint steers patients toward ED visit alternatives,, 7/25/2011
- Berry, Emily
Retail Clinics and Drugstore Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, 5/30/2012
- Cassel, Christine
Lessons in Linking After-Hours Care to Primary Care, The Center for Studying Health System Change, 6/4/2012
- Cassil, Alwyn
Nonurgent Use of Hospital Emergency Departments (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Statement Before the U.S. Senate, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging, 5/11/2011
- Cunningham, Peter
Health Law May Accelerate Growth In Urgent Care Centers, Kaiser Health News, 12/7/2011
- Galewitz, Phil
Emergency Departments, Medicaid Costs, and Access to Primary Care, The New England Journal of Medicine, 6/7/2012
- Kellermann, Arthur, and Robin Weinick
2-Year Project Helps Reduce Non-Emergency Cases in Hospital EDs, New Jersey Hospital Association, 5/9/2012
- Kelly, Kerry
Centers for Urgent Care, The Wall Street Journal, 3/27/2011
- McQueen, M.P.
Health Care on Aisle 7: The Growing Phenomenon of Retail Clinics, RAND Health, 9/15/2010
- Mehrotra, Ateev, John L. Adams, and et al.
Why the Grey's Anatomy Myth Clouds the Real Value of Emergency Care, TIME, 4/11/2011
- Pines, Jesse and Zachary Meisel
Ensuring Access to After-Hours Care, The Commonwealth Fund, 4/1/2012
- Squires, David
Policy Implications of the Use of Retail Clinics, RAND Health, 9/20/2010
- Weinick, Robin, Craig Evan Pollack, Michael P. Fisher, Emily Meredith Gillen, and Ateev Mehrotra
ED Visits in Massachusetts: Who uses Emergency Care and Why? (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Urban Institue, 9/1/2009
- Long, Sharon and Karen Stockley
Use And Costs Of Care In Retail Clinics Versus Traditional Care Sites., Health Affairs, 9/1/2008
- Thygeson, Marcus, Krista Van Vorst, Michael Maciosek, and Leif Solberg
Many Emergency Department Visits Could Be Managed At Urgent Care Centers And Retail Clinics (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Health Affairs, 9/1/2010
- Weinick, Robin, Rachel M. Burns and Ateev Mehrotra
Video: WellPoint Helps Reduce ER Overuse , WellPoint, Inc. , 6/18/2012


Toolkit: Emergency Preparedness in the U.S.: The Ebola Threat

Is the U.S. prepared for a potential virulent pandemic? This new Alliance toolkit examines public health infrastructure, funding and policy levers that deal with these kinds of health crises in America.

Read More 

Mike Leavitt Video: Consolidation and Control-The Evolving Health Care System

Mike Leavitt, chairman of Leavitt Partners and former HHS secretary, addresses the aggressive repositioning of players in the evolving health care system in a new Alliance for Health Reform video.

Read More 

Telemedicine Toolkit: The Promise and Challenges

The integration of technology and health care is on the rise. Although evidence shows that telemedicine has improved access to health care and resulted in lower costs in rural and underserved areas, challenges to expansion include reimbursement policies and acceptable security measures. A new Alliance for Health Reform Toolkit, “Telemedicine: The Promise and Challenges,” addresses the effectiveness of telemedicine as a tool for communication, as well as the expected outcomes and challenges ahead.

Read More 

Toolkit on Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS)

The aging of the baby boomers and the increase in the number of old-old persons (those 85 and older) are predictors for the increasing need for long-term services and supports (LTSS). Among persons age 65 and over, an estimated 70 percent will use LTSS. A new Alliance for Health Reform toolkit, “Long-Term Services and Supports: Changes and Challenges in Financing and Delivery,” provides a background on LTSS and discusses policy issues surrounding the topic.

Read More 

Experts Discuss Workplace Wellness Programs

In a new interview video, Karen Pollitz, senior fellow, private insurance and health reforms, The Kaiser Family Foundation and Dan Newton, vice president, product/solutions development and behavior economics, Anthem Care Management discuss the impact of workplace wellness programs. They address questions about regulations and program design and analyze the scope of wellness programs.

Read More 

Copyright 1997-2015 Alliance for Health Reform
1444 Eye Street, NW, Suite 910 Washington, DC 20005-6573      202-789-2300      202-789-2233 fax      Sitemap