Walk-in retail health clinics are a recently developed type of ambulatory care facility located in big-box stores and retail pharmacy outlets. The initial business model involved facilities that were staffed by nurses and nurse clinicians, that treated only a very limited set of conditions, and they did not offer lab testing. Prices for all services were conspicuously posted. I believe that ultimately clinics of this general type will provide some considerable percentage of first-tier office healthcare services and also an inexpensive alternative to visits to hospital emergency departments for minor problems. However, some of these early ventures were not successful (see: CVS Shifts Some of Its Retail Clinic Operations to "Seasonal" Schedule), perhaps because there was too much competition or because of the need for tweaks to the business model.
A new market entrant, TakeCareClinic, may represent a second-generation attempt to improve this walk-in clinic formula. Located in selected Walgreens pharmacies, these clinics offer an expanded treatment repertoire including lab testing (see: What We Treat). Copied from their web page, here is a top-level list of conditions that will be treated for patients 18 months old and older. This list would seem to be similar in scale and scope to much of the work of many physician office practices.
- Respiratory Illnesses
- Additional Treatments
- Skin Conditions
- Diagnostic Testing
- Minor Injuries
Of interest to me is the following set of services offered by TakeCareClinic, labeled as Wellness on the web site, and with a fee of $59: Men's Health Evaluation and Women's Health Evaluation. For me, this category is reminiscent of the "wellness profiles" offered for men and women on direct access testing (DAT) web sites such as PrePaidLab.com. The price for the "Comprehensive Wellness Profile 1 for Men" on this DAT site is $88.20. For most of the DAT web sites with which I am familiar, the back-end performing clinical lab is LabCorp, although this fact is not usually stated directly. It's easy to determine, however, because the DAT customers will be directed to LabCorp patient service centers for their blood draws. I suspect that LabCorp is also the performing clinical lab for the TakeCareClinics. If this is true, it represents an interesting blend of the walk-in retail clinic business model with direct access testing.