Retail Clinic Volume Boomed During Pandemic — and Could Stay High
According to a new report, retail clinic claims have boomed since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic — and heavy utilization seems like it’s here to stay. Experts tell AIS Health, a division of MMIT, that retail clinics can help improve access and convenience for patients, but they also caution that retail clinics aren’t a substitute for high-quality primary care and could induce demand for low-value encounters.
The report, prepared by health care consultancy Definitive Healthcare LLC, found that retail clinic claim volume increased by 200% between 2017 and 2022, according to information sourced from the firm’s proprietary all-payer claims database. During the same period, urgent care claims increased by 70%, emergency room claims decreased by 1%, and primary care physician claims decreased by 13%.