A recent survey demonstrated that over 50% of integrated delivery systems lost an average of $50,000 dollars per physician (Porn 2001). Healthcare organizations in the 1990’s began to develop new methods of healthcare delivery to enrollees under a managed care system (Porn 2001). A few years after development these new delivery methods began to lose money due to low physician productivity, excess support capacity, over qualified skill mix and inefficient operation model, and excessive administrative costs (Porn 2001).
After realizing that the new delivery systems were not substantially reducing costs retail walking clinics began to appear which are staffed by a mid level provider and has minimal support staff and overhead costs are located in retail stores. Financial managers of retail walkin clinics must carefully assess physician productivity, compensation and support staff to ensure financial viability (Porn 2001).
The income from patient visits must exceed these expenses for the walkin clinic to be profitable. The factors that managers need to address for the financial success of retail walkin clinics are: direction, data, desire, dedication and drive (Porn 2001). Factors that are needed to identify if a financial problem exists are: understanding and desire of a problem, development of a plan to solve it and the power to change the outlook (Porn 2001).
Porn (2001) identifies ten steps to ensure financial success of a walking clinic: segregation of the practice components to increase physician understanding, develop an effective management program, identify ideal physician productivity, ensure physician compensation is relevant to productivity not the market, address the value of midlevel providers, evaluate need for support staff, centralize medical supply purchasing, evaluate cost of transcription, develop a plan for internet applications.
The financial success of a retail walkin clinic requires vision, leadership, infrastructure and vigilance (Porn 2001).
Reference: Porn, L. M. (2001). Meeting the Challenge of a Group Practice Turnaround. Healthcare Financial Management. 55 (3) 63-68. Retrieved on January 20, 2009 from the ebscohost database.