As the economy affects more and more people, affordable, accessible health care continues to be one of the foremost topics on consumers’ minds. The ongoing swine flu epidemic, for example, has reminded many people to seek a fast, low-cost place where they can receive flu shots—or, if they have flu symptoms, rapid testing for Type A Influenza or a prescription for antiviral medication. One solution that has emerged is the convenient care clinic. These are located at retail centers across the United States and have become a quick and inexpensive way for many people to manage their basic health needs. For the last three years, PHMC has provided executive management and administrative support to the Convenient Care Association (CCA), a nonprofit professional organization for the companies and health care systems that run such clinics.

Our clinics are good for our clients, a large percentage of whom state that they don't have regular primary care.”

Convenient care clinics first opened in 2000 and the Convenient Care Association launched in 2006. “We’re a very new industry” says Caroline Ridgway, program and senior policy associate at CCA, “but we’re continuing to grow.” Since CCA began, more than 1,200 clinics have opened their doors at retail sites in 31 states around the country, a sharp increase from the 100-plus clinics available in 2006. Wal-Mart, Walgreens and Target are only a few of the stores that have clinics staffed by nurse practitioners and physician assistants onsite and that can offer customers immunizations, physicals and health screenings, as well as care for minor health concerns such as colds, sprains and rashes. “The clinics provide a valuable access point,” says Ridgway. “Our clinics are good for our clients, a large percentage of whom state that they don’t have regular primary care and who are looking for the basics.”

Says Tine Hansen-Turton, vice president of Health Care Access & Policy at PHMC and executive director of CCA, “In these tough economic times, convenient care clinics are providing access to high-quality, convenient and affordable health care. The clinics serve a large population of patients with high-deductible plans, for whom the lower price-point makes a big difference in their personal finances and ability to access health care.”

Did you know?

According to research from the Convenient Care Association:

  • Convenient care clinics (CCCs) achieve a 90% client satisfaction rate
  • About 35% of CCA patients are self-pay, which means they opt to pay out-of-pocket rather than through their insurance, or they lack insurance
  • Convenient care clinics accept most insurances, and patients without insurance generally pay between $40 to $70 for a clinic visit — far less than a typical emergency room bill.

For more facts about CCCs and to learn more about CCA, visit