NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Nov 26, 2012) - The number of adults who are familiar with retail clinics and have used them has increased in recent years, according to Kalorama Information. The healthcare market research publisher conducted an online survey of 2,000 U.S. adults and found that 21.3% of those surveyed have visited a retail clinic. The survey result is a significant increase over polls from six years ago which showed that less than 10% of U.S. adults had used a clinic within a retail setting. Kalorama attributes the result to the growth of health clinics at top retail chains, growth in clinic traffic and the 'bunching' of clinics in certain cities. The finding was made in its complete market research survey on retail clinics, "Retail Clinics 2012: Growth of Stores, Consumer Opinion Surveys, Winning Competitors, Supplier Sales of Products to Clinics, Clinic Sales Forecasts and Trends."
Retail clinics are mostly located in drugstores, but also in retailers such as Walmart, grocery stores and even malls. Their business model is taking advantage of heavy retail traffic, and providing defined services generally administered by a nurse practitioner or a physician assistant. Kalorama notes that customers have responded well to the appointment-free service, improved hours over the average physician office, and lower costs. A shortage of primary care physicians, rising concerns about access and costs, and now a health reform plan are all expected to send new patients to clinics. But Kalorama says there is still competition from primary care physicians, urgent care centers and other entities.
"The other side of the survey result is that nearly 80% of respondents have not visited a clinic," said Bruce Carlson, Publisher of Kalorama Information. "The concept survived the recession and opposition from medical associations and state legislatures, but there is still work to do."
The most important development in the persistence of the retail clinic concept, according to Kalorama, is that major drugstores embraced clinics and the two largest drugstore chains in the United States, CVS Caremark and Walgreens, are competing to offer healthcare services as part of their retail strategy. The report also notes the 'bunching' of retail clinics in certain cities identified for key demographics, increasing the likelihood that residents of these cities will visit a retail clinic.
"In places like Atlanta, Phoenix, Minneapolis and Chicago, there is greater competition and awareness of retail clinics because companies have made investments there," said Carlson. "In other cities, respondents right now will say that they have not been to a clinic because there isn't one close to them."
The report also notes that optimism about retail clinics should be balanced with a note on bumps in the road in recent years. There are over 1,300 retail clinics, and Kalorama expects that number to grow, but the amount of clinics actually went down during the recession. Stores have struggled with getting patients during summer and spring months. Some well-known chains closed clinics in their stores. Physician practice and urgent care competition, labor shortages, competition for retail space and limited space at drug stores will limit the growth of health clinics in stores.
Kalorama Information's report, "Retail Clinics 2012," provides market estimates, additional survey results, profiles of key companies in the retail clinic market, store growth forecasts and sales of supplier goods.
About Kalorama Information
Kalorama Information, a division of MarketResearch.com, supplies the latest in independent medical market research in diagnostics, biotech, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and healthcare; as well as a full range of custom research services. We routinely assist the media with healthcare topics. Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and our blog.