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Am J Manag Care. 2010 Oct;16(10):753-9.

Retail clinic versus office setting: do patients choose appropriate providers?

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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Eagan, MN, USA.



To assess whether health plan members who used retail clinics chose that setting for minor conditions and continued to see other providers for more complex conditions.


Retrospective analysis of claims data in a commercially insured population.


Health plan enrollment data were used to identify and describe the analysis population. Episode Treatment Groups were used to identify members with chronic conditions and to analyze reasons for retail clinic use, complexity of retail clinic visits, and care for chronic conditions in non-retail clinic settings. Logistic regression was used to study predictors of retail clinic use.


Retail clinic users differed significantly from nonusers. The most significant predictors of retail clinic use were age, sex, and proximity to a retail clinic. Episodes of care treated in the retail clinic appeared to be less complex than similar episodes treated in other settings. Chronically ill members who used the retail clinic saw another provider for their chronic condition at rates similar to or higher than those of members who did not use the retail clinic.


Individuals may be able to identify when conditions are minor enough to be treated in a retail clinic and serious enough to be treated by a traditional provider.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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