Study shines light on retail medical clinics

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Thousands of retail medical clinics have opened in recent years. (WPVI)

Thousands of retail medical clinics have opened in recent years. The hope was they would help lessen the load for emergency rooms. But a new study shows that's not happening.

The hope was for more minor problems like bronchitis or an ear infection, people would visit the retail clinics instead of an emergency room.

But the study shows, the clinics, many located inside drug stores, didn't prevent E.R. visits and haven't helped lower health care costs.

One exception was people with private insurance, but the effect was small.

Unlike E.R.'s, many of the retail clinics don't accept Medicaid and they're not required to treat someone without insurance.
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