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Retail Clinic Chain Closes Stores

Today's New York Times reports:

CheckUps, a start-up operator of walk-in medical clinics, has shut down 23 of the clinics operating in Wal-Mart stores in Florida and three other Southern states.

CheckUps, based in New York, fell behind in paying its nurses and other vendors late last year, apparently running short of cash to meet its bills, according to a lawyer for one of its creditors.

Read the full article here.

Update at 10:37 The Wall Street Journal's Health Blog treats the closings here.

Comments (2)

It will be interesting to see how other organizations react to this news and if it has an effect on retail clinic strategies of other organizations. Is this a warning for other retail clinics?

We at the Healthcare Intelligence Network recently spoke with Dr. Thomas Atkins of Sutter Express Care and got some feedback from him on this subject, as well as the impact retail clinics have on ED use and healthcare costs.

Check it out! http://blog.hin.com/?p=252

Paul Gillan:

At the WSJ blog, MinuteClinic founder Douglas Smith, M.D., wrote in a comment with this observation:

The best way for these clinics to work long-term is as extensions of medical clinics, not as free-standing entrepreunerial enterprises.. . . Unfortunately, once the non-medical people became involved, this devolved into a way to make a quick buck! As an extension of an existing practice with limited scope of services, these work very well, with expansion of services and loss of physician oversight, they become non-viable, as evidenced by the sudden closure of these [CheckUps] clinics.
Of course a cynic might suggest that the MinuteClinic model of a very limited schedule of services - - rather than a more expanded primary care model like CheckUps had - - is simply a better way to make a quick buck, but a quick buck model nontheless.

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