Retail Clinics Cashing in on Aesthetics
It was recently brought to my attention that a popular health clinic is targeting (pun intended) cosmetic patients. Target Clinics, which provide convenient healthcare to numerous patients, are now offering certain cosmetic services. Listed on the Target Clinics website under services known as "cosmetic prescriptions consultations," the clinics offer eyelash lengthening, treatment of skin pigmentation and treatment of unwanted facial hair.
From a business standpoint, this makes a lot of sense. Patients must be seen before getting a prescription for many popular (not to mention lucrative) cosmetic products, such as Latisse or Vaniqa. Now while walking the aisles of Target, patients can receive a consultation for a nominal $49 and then proceed to Target's own pharmacy to pick up their cosmetic prescription. If you ask me, why didn't they think of this sooner?
Patients love convenience, and if they can take care of their skin needs while shopping at Target, then why not? The clinic's website states "no appointment necessary," making it easy to fit into a single shopping trip. While $49 for a consult (plus prescription costs) probably seems inexpensive to patients, our medical office actually does not charge a fee for a cosmetic consultation. We have ample employees to help educate patients on cosmetic products and whether a particular treatment or product is right for them. I do believe the providers at these clinics to be qualified to write such prescriptions, and hopefully they have an extensive familiarity with the products and any contraindications. Being seen cosmetically at such a clinic, in my opinion, is a safe and certainly convenient option for patients, especially those who feel too busy, or intimidated, to make it to a medical setting. I do hope they realize that we offer much more than just a prescription.
Do you feel that this threatens aesthetics practices? Lastly, do you think retail clinics will start to offer cosmetics procedures such as Botox or filler injections and how do you feel about that? Would it affect your practice?