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Keywords

health care access, retail clinics

 

Authors

  1. Leppel, Karen

Abstract

Background: In response to the growing need for accessible, affordable, and quality health care, increasing numbers of convenient care clinics (CCCs) are being launched in the United States. Although these clinics have the potential to increase health care access and reduce health care costs, the benefits are lost if individuals are afraid to use them because of concerns about staff qualifications, misdiagnosis, and continuity of care.

 

Purpose: Research on the usage of CCCs and the factors influencing that usage is lacking. Given the expected increase in health care needs resulting from the aging baby boomers, it is particularly important that we understand the attitudes of this population. This article uses data from the Widener Elder Pennsylvanian Survey to examine factors that influence the willingness to use CCCs among baby boomers and older Pennsylvanians.

 

Methodology: Descriptive statistics, chi-square tests of association, and logit regression analysis were employed.

 

Findings: The results indicate that willingness to use CCCs is greater among women and decreases with age. Results based on small numbers of uninsured persons suggest that those without health insurance are more willing to use CCCs than are those with insurance. Individuals who are more worried about staff qualifications or misdiagnosis are less interested in CCCs.

 

Practice Implications: In a well-coordinated health care system, CCCs can be valuable contributors that increase health care access and reduce costs. To facilitate the functioning of the system, maintain continuity of care, and assuage concerns about proper treatment, CCCs should establish connections with and a system of referrals to physician practices in the community. Electronic record keeping that promotes two-way communication between primary care physicians and CCCs can help the system operate more efficiently. An awareness of these connections and communications could alleviate patients' concerns and encourage them to utilize cost-saving CCCs.