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Retail clinics are burgeoning. But whom are they really serving?

Summer 2007
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Number of retail clinics, also known as convenient care clinics, offering walk-in services for basic medical care (such as flu shots, physicals and strep tests) that are typically staffed by nurse practitioners, supervised by off-site physicians and located in chain stores like Wal-Mart

Number of retail clinics that industry leader MinuteClinics plans to open by 2008

Approximate maximum wait time, in minutes, at a retail clinic  (some clinics offer to page shoppers when the nurse can see them) 

Average wait time, in minutes, for a doctor’s appointment

Percentage of clinic visitors at Target who come for the care but end up shopping as well

Average amount an insurer saves when a patient visits a MinuteClinic rather than a physician’s office or an urgent care facility

Average price of services at a retail clinic

Number of square feet a retail clinic typically occupies, replacing less-profitable departments

Percentage of retail clinics that do not accept insurance, making middle-class patients less likely to visit them than higher-income ($100,000 and more), convenience-craving consumers and the uninsured who cannot afford alternatives

Amount, in millions, that the chain Take Care Health Systems received from venture capitalists to expand into new geographic markets in 2006

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