If we’re going to make health care more affordable, we need innovative business models. One such model is the retail health clinic, businesses that offer a limited menu of services with prices established up front, often provided by a nurse practitioner.

But are they any good? A new report published in the Annals of Internal Medicine says yes.

According to one article on the report, “The quality of care for treating three common acute afflictions — ear infections, sore throats and urinary tract infections — was just as good at retail clinics as at physician offices and urgent care centers, and better than emergency rooms (ERs), when checked against standard clinical treatment guidelines.”

Having economic self-interests of their own, physician groups are naturally worried about the competition. When states enact measures on behalf of physician groups and against retail clinics, they reward rent-seeking behavior, restrict competition and drive up the cost of health care.

Cross-posted to State House Call.

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