The American Academy of Pediatrics is formally recommending that parents do not bring children to retail-based clinics as they are generally not part of the child’s medical home and do not provide the high-quality, regular preventive care they need. Despite the clinics’ potential as a disruptive innovation in medicine, I happen to agree with the AAP.
The AAP recommendation is an ivory tower broadcast of the obvious but one that will fall on deaf ears. Consumers want convenience, and pediatricians in the current model do not have time to meet the consumers’ needs. There is no solution to this oil and water mixture. The ACA and the move to large employed-physician groups will accentuate this divide.
Some enlightened physicians will see that they must, for themselves and their patients, leave the system that delights to hold them down in this un-winable game of “health maintenance.” They will find that direct pay and concierge medicine delivers “better medicine, better business and better outcomes.” Patients will meet them at the crossroads of health and faux-wellness if the physician learns how to truly deliver wellness and is an advocate to their patients.