ANN ARBOR, Mich. & WASHINGTON--()--Half of Americans are aware of retail health clinics, and nearly one in six have utilized them recently for various healthcare needs, even if they have a primary care physician, according to the Truven Health Analytics-NPR Health Poll. Truven Health Analytics was formerly the Healthcare business of Thomson Reuters.
“For many years health care consumers have complained about the need for more convenient and easier access to medical care for uncomplicated illness evaluation and treatment. Retail clinics appear to be meeting this need”
Truven Health Analytics and NPR conduct a monthly poll to gauge attitudes and opinions on a wide range of health issues.
The survey, which asked respondents about their awareness, attitudes, and practices regarding retail health clinics, found that 49 percent of Americans were aware of these establishments. Of those, 16 percent had used one in the past six months, and another 68 percent (who were aware, but had not used one in that time frame) said they would be willing to do so.
Overall, 89 percent of respondents who used a retail clinic also had a primary care physician.
When asked why they visited retail health clinics, 39 percent of respondents cited a minor cold or illness. Other reasons include a flu shot (19 percent), immunization (8 percent), or another type of minor procedure (35 percent). Sixty-five percent of these respondents said their healthcare coverage paid for their visit.
“For many years health care consumers have complained about the need for more convenient and easier access to medical care for uncomplicated illness evaluation and treatment. Retail clinics appear to be meeting this need,” said Raymond Fabius, M.D., chief medical officer at Truven Health Analytics. “The majority of visits involve either care for a minor problem like an earache or the injection of a vaccine such as a flu shot. Most people who receive this care are highly satisfied. We should consider Retail Clinics another part of the American healthcare delivery system.”
Eighty percent of respondents who have used a retail clinic were satisfied with the experience: a rate that rose with increasing age and level of education. Of those who were not aware of the clinics, 69 percent said they would be willing to use one if it was available in their community.
To date, the Truven Health Analytics-NPR Health Poll has explored numerous health topics, including generic drugs, abortion, vaccines, food allergies, and organic and genetically modified foods. NPR's reports on the surveys are archived online at the Shots health blog here.
Truven Health Analytics maintains a library of poll results here.
The Truven Health Analytics-NPR Health Poll is powered by the Truven Health PULSESM Healthcare Survey, the nation’s largest and longest-running independently funded, nationally representative telephone poll that collects information about health-related behaviors and attitudes and healthcare utilization from more than 100,000 US households annually. Survey questions are developed in conjunction with NPR. The figures in this month's poll are based on 3,003 participants interviewed from July 9-20, 2012. The margin of error is 1.8 percent.
For a copy of the full survey, click here.
About Truven Health Analytics
Truven Health Analytics, formerly the Healthcare business of Thomson Reuters, delivers unbiased information, analytic tools, benchmarks, and services to the healthcare industry. Hospitals, government agencies, employers, health plans, clinicians, pharmaceutical, and medical device companies have relied on us for more than 30 years. We combine our deep clinical, financial, and healthcare management expertise with innovative technology platforms and information assets to make healthcare better by collaborating with our customers to uncover and realize opportunities for improving quality, efficiency, and outcomes. With more than 2,000 employees globally, we have major offices in Ann Arbor, Mich.; Chicago; and Denver. Advantage Suite, Micromedex, ActionOI, MarketScan, and 100 Top Hospitals are registered trademarks or trademarks of Truven Health Analytics. For more information, please visit www.truvenhealth.com.
NPR is an award-winning, multimedia news organization and an influential force in American life. In collaboration with more than 900 independent public radio stations nationwide, NPR strives to create a more informed public - one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas and cultures.