Urgent Care: The McDonaldization of Medicine

the MPR take:

How did McDonald’s become the model for urgent care clinics in the U.S.? By placing locations in highly visible and high-trafficked areas, providing flexible hours and fees usually cheaper than an emergency room visit, eliminating appointments and reducing wait times, urgent care is attempting to replicate the success of this fast-food franchise for healthcare. As primary care physicians struggle to serve patients with chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and emphysema and emergency rooms are brimming with patients seeking treatment for threatening and non-threatening conditions alike, urgent care clinics have become an attractive alternative for many patients. Some are concerned that the urgent care model does not allow for follow-up and continuity of care, while insurance companies are unsure how these clinics will work with the shift from a sickness model to prevention-based payments to physicians.

Urgent Care: The McDonaldization of Medicine
Urgent Care: The McDonaldization of Medicine

The path to owning your own medical practice typically runs through more than a decade of schooling, grinding through medical school, residency and years of specialty training. “I knew next to nothing about health care,” says the proud owner of four urgent care clinics in Massachusetts. The ...

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