Retail Clinics and Impact of Proposed American Healthcare Act (AHCA) legislation

ROCKVILLE, Md.May 10, 2017 — Kalorama Information, a healthcare market research publisher covering the retail clinic market, issued this statement in reaction to House passage of American Healthcare Act (AHCA) legislation.   While the AHCA is still in the middle of legislative process, with Senate action and conference yet to come, estimates are that the bill removes anywhere from 15 to 20 million Americans from healthcare insurance rolls as a result of the legislation, and such a factor would impact all providers of healthcare if it came to fruition.  However, Kalorama Information at this time is not changing its market forecast or clinic location forecast for retail clinics, walk in clinics located in retail stores.

Kalorama’s most recent report is Retail Clinics 2017.   That report found that there are over 2,200 such retail clinics in the United States, and they will earn revenues of 1.4 billion this year.

“Retail clinics rely on insurance payments like any other facilities, though they are in a retail store and care is usually provided by an NP,” said Bruce Carlson, Publisher of Kalorama Information.  “There’s some cash payments, and demand is different because they pull from consumers in the store.  We’ll continue to watch the legislative process and adjust forecasts for retail clinic patient volume and retail clinic store revenues as more information is available.”

On one hand, Kalorama Information notes that there was great anticipation and interest in retail clinics because of the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and that the legislation’s repeal might have an effect on the business of retail clinics.  Some of the preventative and insurance provision measures were expected to boost office visits, and the new features of proposed Congressional legislation like sick patient pools for states wouldn’t reach the low-level of care of clinics.

Yet Kalorama Information doesn’t anticipate store closings or drastic changes in plans.

“Growth in clinics was not entirely about the ACA, though that did become a justification in some proposals,” said Carlson.   “It’s waiting rooms of doctor’s offices, and the high costs of ERs.  And then it’s also the convenience factor.  From the retail side, there’s indirect spending as well.   The presence of a pool of customers in the retail store, and indirect revenue from store purchases, that make these clinics valuable independent of the expected increase in patients from the ACA.  We imagine that the major drugstores, so far the largest supporters of the retail clinic concept will be watching what happens with AHCA, but we also imagine their plans of converting more stores to stores with walk-in clinics won’t change because of legislation.”

So far, Kalorama holds to its estimate of 2850 or more retail clinics in the next five years.

“The concept started before the ACA and will outlive it,” Carlson stated.