Aug 2, 2023 - Health

Portland's lack of retail health clinics

Data: Definitive Healthcare; Map: Axios Visuals

Retail health clinics have experienced a boom in the U.S. over the last five years. However, the West Coast lags behind in offering patients medical care in convenient locations, new data suggests.

Driving the news: There are seven total retail clinics across the Portland metro area, significantly lower than several regions in the ​​Midwest and Southeast.

  • Portland metro area has 0.28 retail clinics for every 100,000 residents, per data from health care analytics firm Definitive Healthcare.
  • The region the study surveyed included Vancouver, Washington and Hillsboro.

Why it matters: Retail clinics β€” which are located inside retail or convenience stores and offer basic health services like vaccinations and minor injury care β€” are an easy-to-access alternative to emergency rooms, urgent care clinics and primary care providers.

The big picture: Such clinics are increasingly popular as major retail chains like CVS and Walmart embrace the idea of offering them, in part to draw customers who may also buy groceries, clothing or beauty supplies.

  • They're staffed by nurse practitioners or physician assistants, who are hired by the retailer or the retailer's clinic partner.

State of play: Nationally, CVS is the dominant retail clinic provider, with 63% of the locations, per Definitive Healthcare.

  • Providence, a leading health care provider in the Pacific Northwest, offers over a dozen ExpressCare locations with same-day appointments across the Portland metro area, including some inside Walgreens stores.
  • Most visits are free for those with Providence plans.

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