shutterstock_146375258The lameo-s at the American Academy of Pediatrics have released a new statement saying that retail-based clinics are an “inappropriate source of primary care,” and that “The AAP strongly feels that the medical home model of care for kids is best,” which doesn’t bode well for me and many other parents who use grocery and drugstore based clinics for many different reasons. The article, reported by NBC News,  explains the reasoning as most of these clinics are staffed by mid-level medical providers and nurse practitioners and kids may not be receiving the best quality of care if you take them there.

I have a normal pediatric group that my kids see for big things, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that this winter we’ve been dropping into the quick clinic at my local grocery store that recently opened. The hours are much better, it’s convenient, it costs less than their normal pediatric practice, and when you have a kid with something simple like an ear infection or pink eye it’s so much easier than sitting in the sick kid’s waiting room for an hour to get seen. And it doesn’t really matter anyway, because the quick clinic always tells us we should have our kids seen by their normal doctor for a followup anyway. Plus, having it located in our grocery means I don’t have to make additional stops to get a prescription filled and load up on juice and soup and ice cream when my kids feel lousy.

 

A clinic visit may also be less expensive than a trip to the pediatrician, according to a 2009 study that found that retail clinic costs ran 40 percent to 80 percent lower than the same visits to doctor’s offices, urgent cares or emergency rooms.

That same study, conducted by RAND Health researchers and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found that the quality of care was just as good at the retail clinics as at the other venues.

 

The article states that the America Nurse’s Association released their own statement which in part read:

“The latest policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics is just another attempt to preserve the status quo

 

I think this whole warning thing about parents visiting these quick care clinics is pretty insulting too, because I think most parents know if their kids don’t show signs of improvement in a day or two or if they get worse they should take them to their normal doctor or to the emergency room. I’ll still use our big practice for things like checkups and vaccinations, but if it’s five o’clock on a Sunday night and my kid says their throat hurts, I’m taking them next to the produce department so they can get seen instead of waiting a day to see our normal doctor.

(Image: Tupungato /shutterstock)