Popularity of US “doc in a box” clinics is due to low price and accessibility

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 23 February 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b778
  1. Bob Roehr
  1. 1Washington, DC

    The rapid growth of retail medical clinics in drugstores, the Walmart chain, and other non-traditional locations in the United States has prompted a new report whose findings are chiefly favourable to the new outlets.

    The retail clinics, sometimes called “doc in a box” clinics, offer a limited range of services such as sale of drugs for common infections and wounds, tests, and vaccinations. They are generally staffed by nurse practitioners, have varying degrees of oversight by physicians, and follow established clinical practice guidelines. The average visit costs $40 (£28; €32) to $80.

    The new report, which was commissioned by the California HealthCare Foundation, a charity that focuses on healthcare policy and education, found that patients like the hours …

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