CDC research finds that clinics can help lower healthcare costs

HOUSTON As employer healthcare costs continue to increase at twice the rate of inflation, recent research sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that retail clinics can help improve employee health while lowering healthcare costs.

Houston employers heard the results of this research firsthand at a recent symposium held Oct. 25 at the Houstonian Hotel that was jointly sponsored by RediClinic and Memorial Hermann Healthcare System.

According to the research, while the established healthcare delivery system has proven to be very effective at handling complex cases, retail clinics can be better suited to the efficient delivery of preventive care that people need on a regular basis to maintain their health and well-being.

Retail-based clinics are particularly well-suited to the delivery of preventive care, reported Bradley Perkins, chief strategy and innovation officer for the CDC. Preventive services such as smoking cessation, adult immunizations like influenza and tetanus, and screenings for hypertension, cholesterol and diabetes were all found to have cost-saving benefits.

“We are pleased to see that high-quality, independent research has validated the need for retail clinics and their value to employers and employees,” stated Walt Mischer, Jr., chairman of RediClinic.

A 2007 study by the Kaiser Foundation indicated that 45 percent of all employers plan to increase the amount that employees pay in 2008 for health insurance in order to address the rising healthcare costs.