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Retail Clinics

If you’ve been inside a Walgreens drug store lately, you may have noticed a little office peeking out from the wall around the pharmacy. A glance inside this office will have shown you a person in a white jacket doing things suspiciously similar to those that a doctor routinely does.

That is because Walgreens and a slew of other stores have opened up small retail clinics in their shops. These clinics work much like your doctor’s office and treat a number of small infections and illnesses from the common cold and flu, to bug bites and allergic reactions.

A visit to one of these clinics often costs less than $100, which is much less than a visit to your doctor or primary care physician’s office would be if you have a high deductible health insurance plan. In addition, they are usually much less crowded, have lower wait times, and – because the physician in attendance is only concerned with meeting your immediate needs – they are the perfect locations to visit when you don’t have a lot of time out for a real doctor’s visit.

Even if you don’t have a high deductible health insurance plan you may find a use for these clinics. In many instances, you will find that your insurance company covers the visit and you pay the same copayment as you would when visiting your doctor, but with all the benefits of less waiting time.

It is important to remember that these clinics are not meant for preventative care or routine physicals. You should see your regular physician for those items since he or she may notice subtle changes in your health through these exams that a retail clinic physician will not. But if you need a little allergy, flu or cold care, a retail clinic might be a great resource for you.


August 27, 2010



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