Wal-Mart vs. Hospitals? The Retailization Of Healthcare Continues
The delivery of primary healthcare services on chain retailer floorspace – sometimes referred to the retailiziation of healthcare – is underway. Signs include:
- Walgreens pharmacists administered shots 5.5 million times out of the 9 million flu vaccines they delivered
- Industry estimates that there are now more than 1,400 clinics in retail chain stores, double the number six years ago.
- It is projected that by 2016, the number of retail convenient care clinics (CCCs) will double to 3,000
- Nearly 30% of the US population lives within a ten-minute drive of a retail clinic. That number rises sharply for chain retail, showing the way forward expansion-wise
- The demand for CCCs is rising as demand for healthcare generally rises thanks to the Affordable Care Act provisions ending the situation of 30+ million uninsured
Patients Are Already Shoppers
Retail owners, managers and brokers contemplating new transactions and space apportionments have to add this newest wrinkle into pro formas far and wide; there are two waves of patients who are also shoppers headed to these clinics. The first wave comes from the greying of the baby boomer generation, a demographic consumer of healthcare services up to three times the average of other demographics. The second wave comes from the previously uninsured under the Affordable Care Act. There will be a scramble to marry the convenience of retail locations with the medical needs of these patients.
Supply Chain Experts Expected To Step Up
Chains such as Wal-Mart dominate supply chains and may be leading the way toward the critical rethinking of medical services as one more service in a supply chain. According to this video from the consultants Advisory Board Company, the Walton family retail juggernaut has has unveiled their plans to have primary care services available in rural markets within five to seven years.
While the specific future isn’t clear, we can be sure that the era of the hospital and medical office building as the default locations for medical services is coming to an end.