Master Builder

June 2016

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BY WILL COMPTON VP OF MARKETING CAPITAL BENEFIT SERVICES W hile there is no arguing the fact that stopping into a Walgreens or CVS clinic is much less expensive than going to the ER, the new challenge seems to be keeping people from going to these clinics for every issue they have. According to a study published in the journal Health Aff airs*, rather than substituting for a physician offi ce visit or a trip to the hospital, 58% of retail clinic visits for minor conditions represented a new use of medical services. Those additional visits led to an increase in overall health care spending of $14 per person per year. With more than 2,000 in-store clinics nationwide now handling about 6 million patient visits annually, these costs are starting to pile up. The study doesn't contradict earlier research that found retail clinics provide care that costs 30-40% less than similar Healthcare Corner Retail Clinics: Are They Adding Costs to the System? * http://content.healthaff airs.org/content/35/3/449.full A recent article from Kaiser Health News posed an interesting question: Are the much-applauded and fast- growing retail clinics that seem to be popping up on every corner actually increasing health care spending costs? care provided at a physician's offi ce and that the treatment for routine illnesses was of similar quality. But it suggests those savings are more than off set by increased use of medical services. For example, in the study, researchers found that much of the new use was for ailments that typically cleared up on their own, such as fever, cough or a runny nose. While there are no easy answers on how to deal with this issue and no arguing the fact that these clinics are helping people see a nurse at their convenience, the data is beginning to suggest that costs of these clinics may be outweighing the savings. The MBA Health Trust can help you and your employees get the most from your health insurance dollars. Give us a call at 425.641.8093 or visit us online at mbahealthtrust.com. DANGER Workers' comp hassles may cause cranial combustion Avoid these headaches. Local GRIP experts can save you time and hassles. mbagrip.com/mb 15 06.16 master builder membership value

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