CVS recently announced that it’s planning on buying Target’s pharmacies and retail clinics for $1.9 billion. If CVS buys Target’s 1,660 pharmacies and 80 retail clinics, it will be the nation’s largest retail pharmacy chain. The deal was proposed after the Affordable Care Act put pressure on medical care providers to control costs, and smaller retail clinics struggled to make profits.
Under the ACA, payments are made based on quality and costs, rather than for services, which has pushed pharmacies to become more involved in coordinating healthcare for patients. CVS’s plan to provide major clinical services shows that retail clinics are becoming popular for consumers.
Surveying Consumers on Retail Clinics
According to a study from management consulting firm Oliver Wyman, 79% of respondents were receptive to receiving care for minor healthcare episodes in an alternative setting, as opposed to a traditional physician’s office. Two-thirds of respondents were interested in receiving advice on diet, nutrition, fitness, and well-being from a retail clinic while 50% were interested in getting advice on managing a chronic condition. 57% of respondents said they would like to receive medical care and advice at a retail clinic, and would be more likely to go to the retail clinic if they had a partnership with a local hospital. Most retail clinics market themselves on the basis of convenience and access, which is important to consumers who are tired of waiting for their appointments.
A survey conducted by PwC’s Health Research Institute revealed that the healthcare sector is beginning to feel like other industries by “catering to customers expecting one-click service.” Patients are opting to go to retail clinics for care instead of traditional doctor’s offices, and expecting lab results soon after leaving.
States are now allowing nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and pharmacists to expand their clinical duties so they can provide better patient care. According to the report, “technology should ease the transition of care from doctors to others.” Medical groups who are using other staff members for care are more likely to use mobile health technologies and e-visits. Driven by expectations from millennials who were raised on technology, more healthcare providers are increasing the amount of technology in their facilities.
Mobile Technology in Healthcare on the Rise
The increased use of mobile health technologies benefits the retail clinics that are relying on pharmacists to deliver more care because they can save on costs. Retail clinics can use an ID scanner to simplify the process of filling out long medical forms.
Acuant’s SnapShell scanners are advanced camera-based image capturing devices that take high quality images instantly. Acuant’s scanner can be used to capture data from almost any source and can read and authenticate ID cards from all 50 states.
With Acuant, healthcare professionals can just scan their patient’s driver’s license to accurately obtain information about them. Because SnapShell® devices do not have any moving parts, they are maintenance free, extremely high speed and do not require any calibration. This allows healthcare professionals to quickly gather information and keep lines at retail clinics minimal.
Acuant’s MedicScan captures information from most health insurance cards, saving patients the trouble of deciphering their cards. With Acuant, retail clinics can give their patients faster and more convenient healthcare services.