Skip to comments.Dr. Tom: Wait a Minute Menino slams in-store health clinic plan
Posted on 01/11/2008 1:58:40 AM PST by ninonitti
Mayor Thomas M. Menino yesterday declared war on pharmacy chain plans to open mini health clinics in stores, diagnosing them as unsafe and ill-equipped to monitor community health needs.
Allowing retailers to make money off of sick people is wrong, said Menino, as he called on city health commissioners to help him block the so-called mini-clinics from coming to Boston.
Meninos fighting words came one day after the states Public Health Council approved a controversial plan to allow retailers such as CVS to run no-appointment-necessary, limited services medical clinics inside their stores. At the clinics, nurse practitioners would diagnose minor ailments such as pink eye, swimmers ear, poison ivy and sinus infections and then prescribe medication to treat them.
After the health councils vote, MinuteClinic, a CVS Corp. subsidiary, immediately said it would open as many as 125 such clinics at CVS stores in Massachusetts in the next three years.
But yesterday, Menino denounced the clinics, and asked the citys public health commission to work with him to keep them out of the city.
It is hard for me to understand how a company that sells products detrimental to the public health such as tobacco, soda and junk food, could in the same vein promote good health in their mini-clinics, Menino wrote in a letter to city health commissioners.
The clinics would hurt Bostons public health system by recruiting experienced nurse practitioners away from area hospitals, Menino wrote, adding the Bay State already suffers from a shortage of nurse practitioners.
Menino wrote that limited-service clinics are ill-equipped to handle outbreaks and quickly respond to public health emergencies.
And, he added, profit-driven retailers and health care providers dont mix. Retailers dont have the care of the patient or the interest of the community at heart, Menino said.
His anti-clinic stance baffled city residents.
It seems like a good way to get medical care, especially for little things, said hospital administrator, Brooke Christian, who stopped into a convenience store in Bostons South End yesterday.
MinuteClinic spokesman Joe Ganley said company officials would be happy to talk to Mayor Menino about any of his concerns.
We at MinuteClinic are committed to providing convenient, affordable access to quality health care, he said.
Boston Public Health Commissioners support Menino.
At a meeting yesterday, commissioners said they have no authority to change the state regulations, but said they could exercise their own authority to limit the clinics presence in the city.
Because the commission decides which retailers may sell tobacco, it could prevent stores with clinics from selling tobacco. And that could be a deal breaker for big pharmacy chains like CVS.
Commissioners last night opted to speak with public health officials in other cities with mini-clinics before making a final decision.
I have a feeling he wouldn't be saying this about Planned Parenthood.
What is it with mayors wanting to be heath care gurus?
Or one of the many PPOs or HMOs sprinkled throughout the area
That ranks as one of the most stupid comments ever spoken in a free economy country. Doctors, for-profit hospitals/clinics, along with drug and medical supply companies, need to take their ads out of the yellow pages because they don't mix with his definition.
Does he agree with, "Profit-driven lawyers and the law don't mix"? My take is, "Idiots in government don't mix!"
Wow. The market system can provide cheaper health care services than the government. Who knew?
Mumbles Menino obviously is not for the *working* poor in his city who would take advantage of this.
Have to keep the people who actually pay their bills (and subsidizing those who don’t) from shopping elsewhere.
I work in a Massachusetts community medical center. Do you know how many people run to the Emergency Room for a sore throat, poisin ivy, bug bites and other minor health issues? These walk-in clinics could help alleviate some of the wasted ER resources. In the hospital ER every patient, no matter how minor their complaint, has to be processed through triage, through nursing and ultimately seen by a physician. These trained professionals could be giving more acute care to patients who actually need EMERGENCY care.
Nurses at the proposed clinics will refer patients to the ER if they truly need more emergent care.
Nor is the mafia if you get my drift....."never come into my territory if youse knows what good for youse"
Hey Mumbles, go back to Hyde “Paaaaaahk” and stay out of the health care system.
A couple of points here. I operate a pharmacy next door to a nurse practioner’s clinic. We have a great working relationship, it works well and patients are well taken care of. Many choose to use us because of convenience, but others take the prescriptions to the pharmacy they always use which is a good idea. This CVS thing is a little different because patients will be expected to have the prescriptions filled there.
1. This arrangement gives patients easier access. They are more likely to be treated before something gets out of hand.
2. Yes it probably will take nurse practioners away from the hospitals temporarily, but supply & demand will cover that. Plus what I have seen is they can work both places. NP’s cover shifts on their days off.
3. This is my BIG concern. I expect the CVS will heavily influence the drugs prescribed. That isn’t always negative because pharmacist can give advise for cost saving, etc. The problem I expect from this arrangement is that CVS will enter contracts with XXX drug companies to have their clinics prescribe certain drugs exclusively in return for huge rebates. The patient may be treated based on rebates and not on the best therapy for them.
I’m a big fan of walk-in clinics in general. Not as big a fan of them in drug stores. It’s bad enough walking through the CVS or Walgreens during cold and flu season. It will be worse when people are coming there specifically BECAUSE they have a cold or flu. Germs will be spreading even more.
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