The Spectrum Health clinic is located inside the store and will see patients who need non-emergency care like bumps, bruises, cold and flu symptoms, and ear aches.
You don't have to be a patient of Spectrum Health to get care and the clinics will be staffed by nurse practitioners.
Meijer and Spectrum are following a national trend in health care. CVS has their Minute-Clinic and Rite Aid is beginning to open their RediClinics throughout the Midwest. They haven't made it to West Michigan yet, but they are on their way.
What’s the difference between these new walk-in clinics and urgent care?
Walk-in clinics require no appointment and fill the need for less severe health care needs like: sore throats, earaches, vaccines, colds and flu.
The benefit is that prices and copays are usually lower than urgent cares and if you need a prescription you can get it filled right on site.
Urgent care clinics are for more serious health conditions like broken bones, severe cuts, stitches, x-rays, blood draws and they have an on-site physician that can transfer patients to the hospital if needed. Their costs will be above the walk-in clinics but below emergency rooms.
There are several reasons why we’re starting to see these new walk-in clinics. First to try to move patients from using emergency rooms as their first line of care for things like colds and flu which cuts down on health care costs and makes them available for true emergencies.
Second, the health insurance mandate has overloaded primary care physicians and the number of primary physicians continues to dwindle. In 10 years we could have a shortage of up to 50,000 primary care physicians nationwide.
As health care consumers, we can expect to see the health care industry continuing to find ways to cut costs and still make sure patients are getting the care they need.
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