Experts Predict Convenient Care Will Grow
We like to keep tabs on the convenient care industry, because convenient care clinics primarily employ nurse practitioners and physician assistants to provide care to their patients. Recently there's been a bit of media buzz around Merchant Medicine's predictions for the industry's growth through 2015. Bloggers like Mark J. Perry quoted Merchant Medicine's Tom Charland as writing that the number of clinics could double in 5 years.
We should be reminded, says Charland, that this is the "best case" prediction. Worst case is still good, however; there should still be growth for a multitude of reasons (healthcare reform, ACOs, physician shortages, etc.). So, that means more jobs for NPs and PAs. I wrote a more detailed explanation of this in the January edition of Care & Convenience.
In other convenient care news, the concept is spurring new niche companies, like QuickCheck, which calls itself "retail clinic in a box" and brings low-cost diagnostics to your computer (CEO Tom Henke explains it here; thank you to Healthcare 311 for finding it). The company claims on their website to use "clinicians" to provide online visits to patients who rest positive for the conditions they treat using a testing kit. Our guess would be that they're mostly NPs. Stay tuned for more on this healthcare concept.
Another interesting twist is that some predict that convenient care clinics inside stores that also have a pharmacy will begin to employ pharmacists for diagnosis and treatment. David Whelan of Forbes made this prediction in his Health Dollars column.
Just a quick update from us on things that might interest you, the providers of convenient care.