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Old 04-27-2006, 12:01 AM   #1 (permalink)
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In-store clinics

Wal-Mart is putting medical clinics in its stores. The promise is service within 15 minutes. This is ironic because it provides so little health insurance for its employees.

What do you think about Wal-Mart or grocery stores having in store clinics?

Quote:
WASHINGTON—In a keynote speech today at the National Governors Association Winter Meeting, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. CEO Lee Scott called for a ‘new commitment’ between government and business to solve the health care challenges facing America’s working families. Mr. Scott’s call comes on the heels of 10 state legislatures dealing major setbacks to employer mandate bills that have been denounced nationwide by editorial pages and health care experts as ineffectual public policy.

“We need solutions that make health care more affordable and accessible. But unfortunately, we’re not seeing enough solutions that will have an impact on that problem,” said Mr. Scott. “I make this pledge to you: I’ll travel to any state capital to talk with any governor in this room. The only thing I ask is that we talk about real solutions to the health care challenges facing working families.”

Scott’s pledge came after he offered a preview of comprehensive improvements to Wal-Mart’s benefits that will be rolled out in the coming months. The benefits improvements that Mr. Scott discussed include:

• Significantly reducing the waiting period for part-time associates to become eligible for company health coverage;
• Expanding the availability of the Value Plan option at $11 per month for individuals and $.30 more per day for kids to half of all associates by next year;
• Designating all children of part-time Wal-Mart associates eligible for health coverage as soon as their parent becomes eligible. (Currently, part-time associates can only become eligible for individual coverage.)

Mr. Scott also discussed Wal-Mart’s in-store clinic pilot program and announced the company’s plan to open 50 more clinics this year. In the Northwest, Ark. region, he said three clinics have treated 4,300 patients and administered more than 1,800 flu shots in just six months of operation. Nearly half of all patients treated at the three clinics were uninsured, according to surveys conducted to monitor quality.

“Wal-Mart is stepping up with solutions to the health care challenges facing America’s working families,” Mr. Scott added. “We’re making health care more affordable and accessible to our associates. And with the clinics, we’re using our business strengths to do the same for our customers and our communities.”

During the speech, Mr. Scott described Wal-Mart as being “at the intersection of American life.” He compared the issues that Wal-Mart deals with to those that governors deal with in their states. Scott concluded: “We need a new commitment for America. We need to join the great institutions of this country and commit them to solutions. And we should start with ways to ensure healthy people in a healthy America.”

Follow the Link Below for More Information:

http://www.walmartfacts.com/newsdesk...e.aspx?id=1625
http://www.walmartfacts.com/newsdesk...e.aspx?id=1719

They are putting in actual clinics like a doctors office but fast service. I'm not too thrilled to go to a super walmart and buy food while the sick are coming in in droves.
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Old 04-27-2006, 01:01 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindalove
I'm not too thrilled to go to a super walmart and buy food while the sick are coming in in droves.
You're around "the sick" a lot more often than you think. They already have a pharmacy, so it's not like "the sick" have been absent from the Walmart to begin with. Would you rather those people without insurance (according to their numbers, almost half of those treated), who find an answer to their relatively common ailments, stay sicker for longer, or get much worse before they get better? There's something to be said for going to see a registered nurse who's licensed and capable to prescribe certain medicines, as a less costly alternative to a doctor's visit.

It should be noted, also, that these are not just regular nurses either, these are ARNP's- nurse practitioners. This means they can write prescriptions for some medications.

I'm normally not at all a fan of Walmart. I generally have a great dislike for them- but this may actually be a good idea. $30 or $40 for a visit when all you need is an antibiotic, or some cough medicine? That's very cheap compared to a doctor's visit, if you have no insurance. Not to mention the convenience- sometimes it can take a day or two to see your doctor for something... this just helps streamline things.

Last edited by analog; 04-27-2006 at 01:03 AM..
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Old 04-27-2006, 06:16 AM   #3 (permalink)
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My reading comprehension skills are lacking today... i'm reading this article to be that the clinic would improve walmart's employee's benefits... that the employee would get healthcare sooner.. and would be available instore...

I worked for a company once, where we had a company nurse --basically what it was there for to prevent people from coming in to work then deciding at noon, it was a beautiful day, you were going to get ill and go play golf... you were no longer allowed to go home, you had to go to the nurse... that lasted about 6 months... when people decided to take more time off..

is this also healthcare available to the public? I'd be a little concerned about the quality of the healthcare (though i suppose you can worry about that from anywhere) For minor ailments it would be helpful - but what about a minor ailment that perhaps is masquerading as something more serious...(It's not idigestion, you are having a heart attack) will there be walmart hospitals next?

In general in healthcare, I also have a concern, of what I percieve to be the over prescribing of drugs... We seem to have a pill for everything.. and having an onsite pharmacy that would make medication too accessible...
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Old 04-27-2006, 06:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maleficent
is this also healthcare available to the public?
From what I read in the article, the clinics are available to the public. They are also changing the health care policy of the company.
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Old 04-27-2006, 07:09 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maleficent
For minor ailments it would be helpful - but what about a minor ailment that perhaps is masquerading as something more serious...(It's not idigestion, you are having a heart attack) will there be walmart hospitals next?
Why not?
At the Super Walmart closest to my house I can go and buy the typical discount store junk, pick up some groceries, get a haircut, get a manicure, have my portrait taken, drop some letters off at the post office, have my prescription filled, do a little banking, have some film developed, pay my gas and my light bill, drop some quarters in the arcade room, grab a burger at the McDonald's, have my tires rotated...and now, aparently, have that pesky rash looked at in the clinic.

Didn't this used to be...Main Street?
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Last edited by Bill O'Rights; 04-27-2006 at 07:13 AM..
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Old 04-27-2006, 07:18 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Fascinating really - -so all they have to do is come up with Walmart housing and people would never go to that outside place again...

/me has never been in a walmart and wonders if she's missing something
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Old 04-27-2006, 08:00 AM   #7 (permalink)
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In principle it sounds like a good idea. If WalMart could bring health care costs down to the point where health care was affordable for the uninsured, more power to them. I do have some reservations about one company having market dominance in so many areas - seems like a bad idea to me. As long as they're not the sole provider and aren't using their market power coercively, could be good, but WalMart's behavior in the past doesn't make me hopeful.
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Old 04-27-2006, 08:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I hate WalMart but I like this idea. It sucks not having health care or having to go to an urgent care facility if it is outside of regular hours. It costs too much and takes way too long. Why should someone have to drop $100 to have a doc write a perscription for an antibiotic?
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Old 04-27-2006, 08:50 AM   #9 (permalink)
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If this keeps up Wal-Mart can put everyone else out of business then they can be come just like a company store in a company town...
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Old 04-27-2006, 09:22 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill O'Rights
Why not?
At the Super Walmart closest to my house I can go and buy the typical discount store junk, pick up some groceries, get a haircut, get a manicure, have my portrait taken, drop some letters off at the post office, have my prescription filled, do a little banking, have some film developed, pay my gas and my light bill, drop some quarters in the arcade room, grab a burger at the McDonald's, have my tires rotated...and now, aparently, have that pesky rash looked at in the clinic.

Didn't this used to be...Main Street?

Ahhhhhhhhh! Now I will have nightmares about how my old age might go. I'm already afraid that when my mind goes I'll end up as a front door greeter at China-Mart. What if, what if, OH MY GOD, what if they NEVER LET ME LEAVE?

Run away, Bill, run away!
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Old 04-27-2006, 09:35 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Just wal-mart spearheading the race to the bottom in yet another industry.

maleficent - you're lucky, I wish I could say the same. All you're missing is people subsidizing the shipment of their own job overseas by shopping there. Viscious little cycle.
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Old 04-27-2006, 09:46 AM   #12 (permalink)
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We don't have a Walmart's in our area. Closest is about a little over a hour away in either direction I go. However, our local grocery store, Food City, put a clinic in recently after being built.

Thing about it is, yes it is cheaper than going to the regular doctor when you just need something like antibotics.

But, my concern still leans towards about blood work and x-rays. Who does that? Do they get the consult right and send you on to someone who can do this? Can you be admitted through to the hospital by them?

Seeing bills for doctor's visits ranging from 80 to 130 dollars a visit, 30-40 dollars is alot more within reach of those with low or limited incomes.
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Old 04-27-2006, 08:14 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kutulu
I hate WalMart but I like this idea. It sucks not having health care or having to go to an urgent care facility if it is outside of regular hours. It costs too much and takes way too long. Why should someone have to drop $100 to have a doc write a perscription for an antibiotic?
To pay the lawyers and the malpractice insurance premiums after Analog's nurse misses a diagnosis.
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Old 04-28-2006, 12:41 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Suzz04
But, my concern still leans towards about blood work and x-rays. Who does that? Do they get the consult right and send you on to someone who can do this? Can you be admitted through to the hospital by them?
It's not a mini doctor's office, it's a clinic. No, you can't get bloodwork and xrays there. You have to see a doctor for those things. A nurse practitioner isn't licensed for that. And if by "admitted to a hospital through them," you mean "can they dial 911 for you and have an ambulance take you away?" or "can they see that you need medical care they can't provide, and compel you to visit a hospital?" Then yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvelous Marv
To pay the lawyers and the malpractice insurance premiums after Analog's nurse misses a diagnosis.
Do you know what a nurse practitioner's license allows them to do, and not do? Do you know the procedures a nurse practitioner is compelled by their license to follow when treating a patient without the presence of a licensed physician? Do you know how their scope of knowledge relates to how they diagnose patients, and the difference in the way a nurse practitioner diagnoses a patient vs a doctor's diagnosis?

I guess it's easier to be sarcastic in a passive-agressive way when you don't know what you're talking about. I have no idea where the gross lack of faith in these licensed medical professionals is coming from.

A nurse practitioner is not going to violate their license by telling you to go home and sleep it off. If they're not 100% on a diagnosis, they're going to tell you to see a doctor.
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Old 04-28-2006, 06:05 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Wal Mart is by far not the first to do this. Lots of little grocery stores, and even some shopping malls I've seen have had small convienent care clinics in them. The idea is for those acute care needs such as my son has an earache, or I've got strep throat, etc you can pop in and get it checked out quickly.

Remember, these are still fully qualified physicians and/or PA/ARNPs staffing these things and they should damn well know if something is worse than one visit can handle, or if a patient needs follow up and can make the appropriate referrals.

The idea is not for you to have your general physician at wal mart, but rather for those times when you don't expect to need to go to the Dr but need care ASAP.

My real opinion is there's ups and downs to it. Good because it's cheap, more affordable healthcare that perhaps someone who couldn't afford to be seen before can now be seen, downs because people may abuse it and try to use this as their primary health care service, or something like that.
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Old 04-28-2006, 09:34 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by analog
Do you know what a nurse practitioner's license allows them to do, and not do? Do you know the procedures a nurse practitioner is compelled by their license to follow when treating a patient without the presence of a licensed physician? Do you know how their scope of knowledge relates to how they diagnose patients, and the difference in the way a nurse practitioner diagnoses a patient vs a doctor's diagnosis?
Yes, I do. Are you saying that the above makes nurse practitioners immune to a lawsuit? Are you saying that nurse practitioners don't need malpractice insurance, or that theirs should be cheaper than a physician's?

Are you saying that any health professional will not demand pay commensurate with the risk of contracting a career-ending disease, such as hepatitis, or AIDS?

Are you saying that a nurse practitioner doesn't have to deal with OSHA, HIPAA, time spent sterilizing instuments, taking CE, or any of the myriad things that have to take place in order to provide patient care, and which are not readily apparent to anyone who only sees the doctor walk into the room, ask a few questions, and write a prescription? For the sake of argument, I will specify (fantasize?) that this physician has already paid off the $150,000 in loans he or she had to take out to get through four years of college and four years of medical school, his staff never asks for annual raises, and he's independently wealthy, so there is no need to save for retirement.

However, I will point out that SOMEONE has to shoulder these costs, whether the nurse practitioner is operating essentially independently, or under the direct supervision of a physician.

My point, which you misinterpreted, is that there are REASONS it costs $100, or whatever the lay public thinks is too much, to get a prescription.

Quote:
I guess it's easier to be sarcastic in a passive-agressive way when you don't know what you're talking about. I have no idea where the gross lack of faith in these licensed medical professionals is coming from.
So much for civility in the forums. I wish I were surprised.

Quote:
A nurse practitioner is not going to violate their license by telling you to go home and sleep it off. If they're not 100% on a diagnosis, they're going to tell you to see a doctor.
Anyone who has worked in an emergency room will tell you that going home and sleeping it off is precisely what a substantial number of emergency room visitors need to do. The ER has become a de facto family doctor for a great many people, some of whom come in when their kid has a skinned knee. Why shouldn't they? They aren't paying for it (the taxpayers are).

I have no idea on what you base your extreme faith in nurse practitioners. While I don't know many of them, I know the head of one physicians' assistant school, and neither he nor anyone he knows is willing to guarantee that they will be right 100% of the time. Diagnosis is just too tricky.

Besides, medical professionals get sued for bad outcomes, regardless of whether or not they made an error.
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Old 04-29-2006, 01:52 AM   #17 (permalink)
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So your method of countering my post is to answer my questions with questions, mimicking me copycat-style like a petulant 6 year old would, just to intentionally annoy someone?

And if you're going to use passive-aggressive sarcasm to jab at someone with your "analog's nurses" comment, then you can't bitch when you're called out on it and act like I'M the one with the lack of civility. I didn't start this nonsense, but i'm ending it.

*steps away*

Last edited by analog; 04-29-2006 at 08:07 PM..
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