Office visits to primary care physicians on the decline
The rise of retail clinics and urgent care centers has led to patients being less reliant on primary care physicians (PCP) for their health needs. According to an analysis by the Health Care Cost Institute, from 2012 to 2016 office visits to PCPs declined 18%.
Rather than booking appointments with PCPs, patients are increasingly visiting the approximately 12,000 retail clinics and urgent care centers throughout the country. They cite the lower costs and speediness of receiving care from healthcare professionals, such as nurse practitioners or physician assistants, as the reasons for choosing retail clinics and urgent care centers.
Recent developments may increase the number of retail clinics and urgent care centers further. Walmart and Humana recently announced they were in early talks for a partnership that would use the retailer’s stores and existing clinics to provide medical care.
Source: New York Times