Effects of Retail Clinics on Industry Unclear

Newsworks interviewed Manatt's Jonah Frohlich, a managing director with Manatt Health, for an article on the rapid expansion of health clinics housed in drugstores, known as retail clinics.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently released an analysis from Manatt Health on the sector's ability to improve health. Frohlich, who coauthored the report, told Newsworks that the demographic of patients using retail clinics is largely driven by the neighborhood, and they tend to be located in higher-income urban and suburban settings. "And because of their location, they, in large part, tend to be visited by patients who are middle and upper income," Frohlich said.

Frohlich said it's not clear yet if retail clinics are helping to drive down the cost of medicine across the system. Some patients avoid spending money in higher-priced health care settings such as the emergency room. On the other hand, the convenience of retail clinics may prompt other patients to seek care more often than usual.

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