Convenient care clinics seemed novel when they popped up in pharmacies and supermarkets a decade ago. And for a time they didn’t appear to have much spin. But lately, their reach and popularity have surged.
According to a Rand Corporation study, visits to retail medical clinics rose from 0.6 monthly visits per 1,000 Aetna enrollees in January 2007 to 6.5 visits per 1,000 enrollees in December 2009. The actual number of clinics rose 11.2 percent, to 1,355, in 2011, according to the New York Times, compared with just 3 percent growth in 2010 and flat growth in 2009.