Walmart Med Is Better

Wanna cut some med costs 30+% without sacrificing quality? Just have patients rely more on CVS, Walmart, etc. for care. From the Post:

Walk-in medical clinics run by CVS, Wal-Mart and other retailers provide care for routine illnesses that is as good as, and costs less than, similar care offered in doctors’ offices, hospital emergency rooms and urgent care centers, according to a new Rand Corp. study. … Physicians groups … have raised concerns about the quality of care in the retail clinics, particularly about whether they over-prescribe medications since many of them are owned by pharmacy chains and whether they do adequate follow-up. But the Rand study found no major differences in these areas between the clinics and the other medical sites surveyed. …

The study was published this month in the Annals of Internal Medicine. … Annals also published a related study reporting that one-third of Americans live within a 10-minute drive of such a facility. … The study examined the cases of 2,100 patients … treated for routine illnesses — ear infections, sore throats or urinary tract infections. … The costs of care in retail clinics were 30 to 40 percent lower than in physician offices and urgent care centers and 80 percent lower than in emergency departments” of hospitals. … The study evaluated care based on 14 indicators, including tests given, whether antibiotics were prescribed and whether follow-up treatment occurred. In general, the researchers found that the “scores of retail clinics were equal to or higher than those of other care settings.”

Obama has expressed his extreme eagerness to cut med waste.  Think he’ll be eager to publicly adjust his med reform to give Walmart more business?

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