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Mini-clinics to offer cheap, fast health care By Sharon Terlep Detroit News September 20, 2006 Mini-clinics Two CVS stores in Metro Detroit will offer mini-health care clinics called MinuteClinics. MinuteClinic started in Minnesota in 1999 and has 80 locations nationwide. These mini-clinics are designed to provide fast, and cheap alternatives to emergency rooms or even family physicians. Most visits will cost around $49. Advantages Price for insurers Supply Proponents claim this is a way to reduce the demand for expensive visits to the emergency rooms. The clinics would also provide immediate and low-cost medical Demand care. Health care via ER Disadvantages Opponents say that the use of physician assistants and nurse practitioners will reduce the quality of care. Some contend that stores like CVS are only opening such clinics to benefit pharmacy sales. Critics call this drive-by health care. They say it is too risky of an alternative. My opinion Even if the clinics expand throughout Metro Detroit, they are unlikely to have a significant impact on the cost of health care for local insurers or Medicaid. I support capitalism. If CVS wants to boost their pharmacy sales, then so be it. Individuals are not forced to utilize such clinics or the pharmacy. There is nothing wrong with affordable health care. The clinics let the patients know up front what they can and cannot treat. Therefore the “risk” associated with this type of treatment may be overstated.
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