Thursday, August 23, 2007


The New York Times published a story today involving the growing MinuteClinics at various Duane Reade pharmacies throughout the Northeast. They differ from the typical MinuteClincs which staff NP’s and PA’s and instead have actual doctors. This is an improvement, though it encourages the one-time visit, and leaves little chance for follow up, as the patient likely couldn’t make an appointment with anyone.

I love this quote:

“And doctors’ groups, whose members stand to lose business from the clinics, are citing concerns about standards of care, safety and hygiene, and they have urged the federal and state governments to step in to more rigorously regulate the new businesses”

Now why did they have to go and add that little gem? Couldn’t the statement stand on its own without it. It just undercuts the VALID concerns placed after it.

But anyway, this is not what made me angry about the article. That part is buried near the end. Apparently, Continuum Health, my former employer, is joining into an unholy alliance with Duane Reade to supply the very doctors I mentioned above. Here’s the quote:

“Under the partnership agreement, the doctors at Duane Reade will have admitting privileges at the Continuum hospitals and the drugstore clinics can streamline a patient’s journey to a specialist or through the emergency room, when that is necessary, because of the relationship, company officials said.”

So did everybody catch that? These doctors from Duane Reade will have ADMITTING PRIVELEGES!

Now, these Continuum hospitals hire numerous faculty attendings, and presumably by having these OTHER doctors staff these new clinics, they are undercutting their own faculty by siphoning away the business to these Duane Reade clinics. So at first this didn’t make sense to me.

But then a colleague explained it to me. They will be able to increase admissions to the hospitals, since these pharmacy docs have admitting privileges. So if they lose it on one end, they’ll get it back on the other. Good for them. It’s this kind of entrepreneurial thinking that makes me proud to be an American.

Of course, it will simply increase the amount of TOTAL CRAP that gets admitted to the unsuspecting medical teams. But hey, doctors can even learn from crap, can’t they?

1 comment:

Happyman said...

I've said it before: drive-thru brain surgery is on it's way.

This kinda stuff makes me weep for the future of medicine, & for the generation of boomers entering their geriatric years nowadays.

As for me & my family, I'm glad that I'm a doctor, & that hence I know other doctors.

Good to see you posting again.