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If Retail Medicine Is At A Tipping Point...

...why not tip some of it your way?  Consumers are using less health care (WSJ) while MinuteClinic's volumes are jumping. What gives?

Mark Perry sees a tipping point as consumers prefer convenience over established relationships and lower costs over high-tech.

Some hospitals have chosen to compete with the trend by opening or acquiring their own retail clinics.  Few have done so without significant blow-back from their physicians, unhappy with the new competition.  What to do?

If you still have an independent primary care base facing increased competition from retail clinics, my advice is to do what you can to teach your docs how to successfully compete with the retail model.  In short, turn each PCP office into its own "Minute Clinic."

Start by building a shared vision with your docs that retail medicine taps into a growing and important consumer mindset, one that's unlikely to diminish any time soon.  Create a "Retail Manual" packed with advice, recommendations, protocols, everything a practice needs to tap into the retail consumer's mindset.  Assist with the implementation of open access scheduling, increased use of  mid-level practitioners, lower (and posted prices) on select visit types, aggressive quality monitoring, intelligent marketing. 

Now, within the parameters of sound compliance guidelines, promote these revamped practices as your new, consumer-friendly "Retail Network."   Feature the convenience, access and lower costs, all without the added hassle of changing practices.

There.  A way to compete in the retail space AND make a few physician friends along the way.  Call it "friend raising."  Always better than the alternative, don't you think?


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