Solving the Problems of the Medically Underserved with Walk-in Clinics

If Barack Obama is serious about curtailing health care costs, promoting electronic medical records and electronic prescribing, and is increasing access to care, he could make a huge leap forward with a single decision: let Medicare cover the services of walk-in clinics and encourage states to do the same with Medicaid. In principle, these clinics could meet all kinds of needs of the medically underserved. A new study finds of 1,200 clinics nationwide, only 10% of walk-in clinics are in poor neighborhoods. That's because the clinics go where the money is. The solution: let Medicare and Medicaid pay the same market rates everyone else pays – rather than pre-determined government rates.

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  1. Neil H. says:

    Very good post. These clinics not only lower the money cost of care, they also lower the time cost. Both are important.

  2. Joe S. says:

    The last sentence is the key. It’s not enough for Medicare and Medicaid to cover walk-in clinics. They must pay market rates, so that these patients are just as desirable as any other patient.

  3. Brian says:

    But by demanding that medicare and medicaid pay market prices, you accomplish 2 things.

    1) You break the system extremely fast as the market value is set not by supply/ demand but by greedy insurance and greedy pharmaceutical companies that inflate prices at the expense4 of health-care.
    Since these companies make huge amounts of money, with higher logistics costs and yet these companies continue to raise rates and lower services all to make more money.
    2) you effectivly hold the consumer hostage to the predatory practises of these companies whom often already determine whether you may even BE treated or recieve certain procedures. Soon you will see further “rationing” and people un-able to even go to a walk0in clinic at all.

    The answer is either to make health-care available for all (the best answer), or you force these criminal enterprises to lower their rates to an acceptable level, remove pre-existing medical clauses, and force acceptance. You also need to take the power for medical decisions away from these companies and returmn that power to the doctors and the patients.

  4. mary chavanne says:

    I agree that walk in clinics are the future–we have property in gibsonia Pa on Rt 8 (prime property) how do we reach the walk in clinics that are now in service

  5. mary chavanne says:

    I agree that walk in clinics are the future-we have property on Rt 8 Gibsonia pa(prime property) how do we reach the walk in clinics that are now in service