NEW YORK, June 1 /PRNewswire/ -- If you have never been to a walk-in medical center at the local drugstore, you just might soon. Walk-in medical centers are already located in about 1,000 retail locations across the country, and experts say that number could easily double or more within five years.
The trend arrives today in one of Manhattan's busiest intersections, as the physicians of New York Walk In Medical Group, PC, open the doors at the new "Doctor on Premises" in the Duane Reade Pharmacy at West 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue, just across the street from the Port Authority Bus Terminal and one block from Times Square.
According to a recent article in Drug Store News, several trends are fueling the spread of retail-based, walk-in medical centers, including the new US healthcare law, which expands access to care for millions of Americans and simultaneously seeks to hold down costs. According to a study in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the cost of care at retail medical centers has been shown to be substantially lower than in other medical settings, while the quality of care is just as good.
For busy New Yorkers, the chief advantage is convenience. It is far less hassle to visit a nearby drugstore than to visit the emergency room for non-life-threatening medical problems.
While many such clinics are staffed by nurse-practitioners and physician assistants, the Duane Reade Walk-In Medical Centers are led by licensed physicians who can take care of most common illnesses, minor injuries, lacerations, routine screenings, vaccinations, and referrals to specialists.
More than 50,000 New Yorkers have visited the DR Walk-In Medical Centers since the first one was opened in 2007, according to Dr. Maggie Bertisch, MD, Medical Director for New York Walk-In Medical Group. After patients are treated, the doctors can refer them back to their local primary or specialty care physicians, maintaining the continuity of care. The "health stores" use electronic medical records to improve patient safety and coordination with other health care providers.
The medical practice is affiliated with Beth Israel Medical Center and St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, giving patients access to several of New York's top health care facilities.
"We continue our commitment to provide New Yorkers with convenient, accessible, quality healthcare," said Frank J. Cracolici, President of St. Luke's – Roosevelt Hospital Center. "Our latest endeavor at the Duane Reade location on 42nd Street and 8th Avenue is a major benefit for the many thousands of New Yorkers who frequent that area."
"These facilities make sense on so many levels," said Mark Wagar, President and CEO of Empire BlueCross BlueShield. "They offer New Yorkers convenient, affordable access to our network of physicians, and they help lower costs for everyone by reducing pressure on New York's hospitals and emergency rooms."
The DR Walk-in Medical Centers are managed by Consumer Health Services, Inc. (CHS), the premier provider of on-site, physician-directed consumer health centers.
The new site is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., with no appointment necessary. It accepts most insurance plans. For more information about all six DR Walk-in Medical Care centers in New York, including hours and locations, please visit www.drwalkin.com.
About Consumer Health Services
Consumer Health Services, Inc. (CHS) is the nation's premier manager of on-site consumer health centers, working with local doctors, nurses, and insurance companies to offer convenient, physician-directed care where people work, shop, and travel. Major retailers like Duane Reade, hospitality companies and large employers are turning to CHS to launch and manage successful consumer health centers that deliver an exceptional customer experience. To learn more, please visit www.chscorp.com.
SOURCE Consumer Health Services, Inc.