Retail chains offering local, walk-in medical clinics include CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreen's, according to StarNewsOnline.com. At locations such as CVS's MinuteClinic, patients can get nonurgent care for such ailments as strep throat, minor bumps and bruises, and sinus infections.
Although such clinics help with the monitoring of chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure if necessary, they don't offer treatment for them, reports StarNewsOnline.com. They also do not offer X-rays or offer any treatment that may require a lab test. Providers such as MinuteClinic are backed by the Joint Commission, a nonprofit organization that provides accreditation and certification to more than 20,000 health care providers across the United States. Some local drugstores are also beginning to offer some services.
CVS is the largest provider of these walk-in clinics and plans to have up to 1,500 open by 2017, says the Washington Post. Such clinics are a new service that began in 2000 and saw relatively slow growth up to the recession of 2008 and its consequences. Some of the trends of the growth afterward are related to regulations and consequences of the Affordable Care Act of 2010, part of which is the decrease in the availability of primary care doctors. Because more people are covered by insurance under the Affordable Care Act, it is more difficult to see a primary care physician.