The Growth of Retail Clinics and the Medical Home

Two Trends in Concert or in Conflict?

Published In: Health Affairs, v. 29, no. 1, May 2010, p. 998-1003

by Craig Pollack, Courtney A. Gidengil, Ateev Mehrotra

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There has been growing interest in the patient-centered medical home as a way to provide coordinated, high-quality primary care. At the same time, the number of retail clinics has increased dramatically. Many are concerned that retail clinics undermine the medical home by fragmenting care. In this article we explore the juxtaposition of these trends, highlighting shared characteristics and sources of tension. We describe three types of relationships between retail clinics and primary care providers. We argue that for some relationships there is no conflict, and we describe areas of potential concern for others.

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