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Study Shows Patients Still Prefer Their PCP for Episodic Illnesses, Injuries and Screenings
A detailed Merchant Medicine study released last January on patient preferences between retail clinics, urgent care clinics and primary care physician offices reveals a striking preference for the family doctor. In a national survey of more than 2,000 adults between the ages of 18 and 54, when asked where they go when they need medical care, the vast majority of patients still say they go to their primary care physician over a retail clinic or urgent care clinic for themselves or their kids. Even when asked by specific types of illnesses, injuries or health screenings, by every category the primary care physician is strongly preferred. When asked to indicate a preference between just urgent care clinics and retail clinics, 48 percent slightly or strongly preferred an urgent care clinic versus 28 percent who slightly or strongly preferred a retail clinic.
“The results of this survey are particularly instructive to hospital systems who have a medical group and a separate urgent care operation,” says Tom Charland, CEO of Merchant Medicine. “Having a coherent strategy between the two goes without saying. But the study showed strong evidence of a preference for the hospital brand, and an integrated walk-in strategy could result in significant competitive advantage.” The survey covers a number of detailed topics, including frequency of use by type of clinic, preferences by reason for visit, drivers of why consumers choose certain types of clinics, and whether hospital affiliations make a difference.
2017 ConvUrgentCare Strategy Symposium Announced
Merchant Medicine has announced that the 9th Annual ConvUrgentCare Strategy Symposium is set for January 23-25, 2017. This invitation-only thought leadership event geared to hospital system executives will be held at the beautifully renovated Hotel Valley Ho (www.hotelvalleyho.com) in Old Town Scottsdale, Arizona, one block from the art gallery district on Main Street. The Symposium begins at 1pm on Monday, January 23, enabling most attendees to fly in that morning. The meeting ends on Wednesday, January 25, at noon.
This year we are focusing on the evolution of consumer experiential design and the emergence of on-demand healthcare as a network foundation. Given the strong renewed interest in retail clinics for health systems, we are also running a retail clinic panel with executives representing MinuteClinic (CVS), Walgreens, The Little Clinic (Kroger), and RediClinic (Rite Aid) talking about their affiliation and joint venture programs with health systems.
Our speakers include Lynn Banaszak Brusco, Executive Director, Disruptive Health Technology Institute, Carnegie Mellon University; Elliott Jeter, Principal, VMG Health; Mark Little, Principal, Eight Inc.; Ateev Mehrotra, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School; Valerie Monet, Director, Insurance Practice, J.D. Power; Michael Pisani, Managing Director, Houlihan Lokey; Joshua Rosenthal, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer RowdMap; Bart Walker, Principal, McGuire Woods; Robert Rohatsch, MD, Managing Director for Merchant Medicine; Rushika Fernandopulle, MD, Co-Founder & CEO Iora Health; Laurent Valosek, Executive Director, Center for Wellness and Achievement in Education.
We bring together senior executives from health systems, private urgent care and medical groups with an interest in planning for the next 5 to 10 years. People who attend this event view walk-in medicine and employer solutions as a space that touches the greatest number of individuals in any given service area. As such, it is the most effective mechanism for pulling people into their system, both in the short term for acute episodic illnesses and injuries, and for longitudinal primary care. In other words, it represents a mass market of consumers who are vital to the survival of hospitals in a world moving to population health management. In addition to health system attendees, many of whom are current clients of Merchant Medicine, we invite executives from large independent urgent care operators, payers, investors and researchers to attend to further build a dynamic experience and sense of community.