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.”

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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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