October 16, 2005

Finally a reason to go to walmart

I wish they would open some of these clinics in walmarts or walgreens around here. What a sanity saver for the un or underinsured! The only problem is when flu season hits and you've got 88 poeple waiting to see the nurse who are germing up Walmart even worse than it already is.

My question: Are they armed with an RX pad from a physician? If not, don't bother. Just take a few steps past the clinic into the OTC remedy isles.

If they are, then it's great to be able to pay for a visit and to get your prescription with one sick kid in one sick place, which has lysol and kleenex to boot.

Some clinics, such as MinuteClinic, post their services and prices like a cafe menu for all to see. Services and prices vary among different clinics. For example, a meningitis vaccine is $110, the most expensive item on MinuteClinic's menu, said Dr. Woodburn. A flu shot is $30. An exam for strep throat is $49 plus the $10 for a rapid strep test and another $15 for a throat culture.

RediClinic, on the other hand, features a fixed-price menu where all diagnostic tests are a flat $45. There are also differences between the clinics in whether they accept insurance. RediClinic, said Web Golinkin, chief executive officer of Houston-based Interfit Health, which owns RediClinic, is "purely a cash business" but is considering allowing third-party payments.

I'm game.

1 comment:

Tom Matrullo said...

They have something like this in Mexico, and it's probably been there for a while. Very helpful - you have some minor ailment (la turista, for example), you stop in and visit a doctor (yes, there it's actual docs) who usually can figure out what you need inside of 5 minutes, often with charm and wit. You get the prescription in the adjacent pharm. The doc bill can be as low as $1.

What is delicately addressed in the linked article:

"We tell all our patients that they should have a medical home," Dr. Woodburn said. "We use the words 'complement' or 'adjunct' to your current primary-care system."

is one more symptom of our national dis-ease with recognizing that a lot of people are medically homeless - more all the time. That they feel the need to apologize for an "innovation" that actually helps is touching, but out of touch.