ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
Needling Away Your Headaches With Acupuncture
Fish Oil's Benefits Remain Elusive
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Brazilian Mint Tea Naturally Good for Pain Relief
Health Tip: Back Pain in Children
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
CANCER
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Multiple Screening Strategy Boosts Cervical Cancer Detection
Yoga Eases Sleep Problems Among Cancer Survivors
CAREGIVING
Falls Are Top Cause of Injury, Death Among Elderly
With Alzheimer's, Health-Care Costs Could Triple
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome as Deadly as Ever
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
Obesity Linked to Heart Failure Risk
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
COSMETIC
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
DENTAL, ORAL
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
Health Tip: At Risk for Gingivitis
DIABETES
Abnormal Heart Rhythm Boosts Death Risk for Diabetics
Whole Grains Take a Bite Out of Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
DIET, NUTRITION
Pesticides on Produce Tied to ADHD in Children
Purple Tomato Extended Lives of Cancer-Prone Mice
The Raw Food Diet
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Seasons Arriving 2 Days Earlier, Study Says
Ozone Pollution Taking Toll on American Lives
Traffic Seems to Make Kids' Asthma Worse
EYE CARE, VISION
Diabetic Eye Disease Rates Soaring
Certain Diabetes Drugs May Pose Eye Risk
High Temps Degrade Contact Lens Solution: Study
FITNESS
Have Fun This Summer, But DO Be Careful
Be Healthy, Spend Less
Yoga Can Ease Lower Back Pain
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
Heal Your Life® Tips for Living Well
Heart Disease May Be Prevented By Taking Fish Oils, Study Shows
Fructose Boosts Blood Pressure, Studies Find
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Shedding Light on Why Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help the Heart
Chinese Red Yeast Rice May Prevent Heart Attack
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Exercise Eases Obesity and Anger in Kids
Eating Fish, Breast-Feeding Boost Infant Development
MEN'S HEALTH
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Breast-Fed Baby May Mean Better Behaved Child
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
SENIORS
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
Boost In Elderly Population Will Be Felt Worldwide
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Air Pollution Slows Women's Marathon Times
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Exercise, Weight Control May Keep Fibromyalgia at Bay
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Retail Clinics Attracting Those Without Regular Doctors

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Typical clients of retail health clinics in the United States include patients who don't have regular health care providers and are seeking preventive care or help for easy-to-treat illnesses, says a study by the nonprofit RAND Corporation.

Retail health clinics, which are located in pharmacies and other stores, are becoming increasingly popular. Currently, there are almost 1,000 retail health clinics in the United States, and it's estimated there may be 6,000 by 2011. This is the first study to examine the types of patients who go to these clinics.

"These clinics appear to attract patients who are not routine users of the current health care system. For these patients, the convenience offered by retail clinics may be more important than the continuity provided by a personal physician," lead author Dr. Ateev Mehrotra, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, said in a RAND news release.

Mehrotra and colleagues analyzed more than 1.3 million visits to retail clinics between 2000 and 2007 and compared their findings to national data on visits to primary care physician offices and hospital emergency departments.

Among the findings:

* Patients ages 18 to 44 accounted for 43 percent of people visiting the clinics, compared to 23 percent of those visiting primary care physician offices.
* Only 39 percent of patients at retail clinics said they had a primary care doctor, compared with 80 percent of people surveyed nationally.
* The percentage of retail clinic visits paid for out-of-pocket decreased from 100 percent in 2000 to 16 percent in 2007.
* About 90 percent of visits to retail clinics were for preventive care (screening test or blood test) or for treatment of simple acute conditions such as: upper respiratory infections; sinusitis; bronchitis; sore throat; immunizations; inner ear infections; swimmers ear; conjunctivitis; and urinary tract infections. These conditions accounted for 18 percent of primary care visits and 12 percent of emergency department visits.

The study, which didn't examine the quality of care provided by retail clinics, was published in the September/October issue of the journal Health Affairs.

Some critics have suggested that retail health clinics may disrupt patient relationships with primary care doctors, but this study shows that's not a major issue.

"Since most of these patients do not have a primary care physician, there is no relationship to disrupt," Mehrotra noted. "However, future studies should investigate quality, the likelihood that patients are getting needed preventive and follow-up care."

More information

The Center for the Advancement of Health has more about retail medical clinics.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: RAND Corporation, news release, Sept. 10, 2008

Last Updated: Sept. 10, 2008

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