By David Pittman, Washington Correspondent, MedPage Today
FEBRUARY 24, 2014 – The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) wants to remind patients and parents that they should avoid using retail-based health clinics, the organization said in an updated policy statement.
But in the March edition of Pediatrics, the organization felt the need to re-emphasize its anti-retail clinic position statement from 2006 in light of the booming growth of retail clinics.
Such clinics are projected to roughly double in number, from 1,400 in 2012 to 2,800 in 2015. A survey published in JAMA Pediatrics last year found that a quarter of respondents took their children to retail clinics, and nearly three-fourths of those who did so (74%) said they’d initially considered going to their regular pediatricians.
The policy statement’s lead author, James Laughlin, MD, said pediatricians and their medical homes should be the standard of care for children.
Laughlin said research has shown patients don’t go to retail clinics because they couldn’t get an appointment with their regular doctor. They go to retail clinics because they don’t require appointments and they’re out shopping and see them, so they stop.