Much has been written on this site about the growth of convenience clinics (see posts on July 25, April 26, and April 17). The Economist’s Free exchange blog adds to the discussion (“A spoonful of monopoly…“). It warns how the AMAs monopoly powers may be a threat to convenience clinics such as Medical Marts.
“The fact that there is a shortage of family physicians in many areas did not stop the AMA from trying to stem the growth of these clinics by passing a resolution in June that asked government authorities to investigate the possibility of a conflict of interest in clinic-housing drug store chains that, in effect, both write and fill prescriptions.”
Free exchange agrees with the opinions stated previously on Healthcare Economist. Convenience clinics should expand choice, offer a low cost alternative, reduce waiting times, make available expanded hours of operation, and should maintain high quality standards for basic ailments. The Free exchange blog concludes:
“However, it seems the AMA would like to make sure its members profit no matter what choice you make. As it happens, nurse practitioners are required by law to practise under the supervision of a physician in 28 states — including in Illinois. I’ll swallow a stethoscope if the AMA didn’t have more than a little to do with the existence of those laws. “