Using Bees To Effect Vengeance

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Sunday, July 18, 2004
Next to the Express Checkout, Express Medical Care

An amazing article in the NYT Business section about "minute clinics" sprouting up in Targets, Key Foods, etc. to dispense quick, convenient, inexpensive medical care for routine ailments like allergies, strep throat, ear infections, etc.

My first response was -- ugh, is convenience so highly valued that we're prepared to make medical care another commodity to be purchased in a one-stop shopping trip? But after reading the article, I realized that this type of medical care *is* a commodity. It's not complicated to diagnose, the treatments are straightforward, and it does not make sense to enter the tangled thicket of the conventional medical system in order to get some Clarinex prescribed. Ph.D level expertise is not required, privacy concerns are not really an issue, and this is simply a better model than the current system. Plus someone without insurance can see a qualified practitioner about a basical medical issue for $45.

Minute clinics are the type of innovation that's going to drive down health care costs. No-one wants to see this system being used to substitute for true medical care, but it's a perfect fit for the high-volume, low-complexity issues it's designed to address. Very interesting article (and a great photo accompanying it as well).


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