A new study from PwC’s Health Research Institute is just the latest to show that the convenience offered by retail clinics comes at a steep price. As a result, large employers can expect to see health costs keep growing throughout this year and the next, according to Medical Cost Trend: Behind the Numbers 2017. The “big surprise,” according to the report, is that the biggest increases appear to be coming from basic healthcare that should be relatively low-cost. That means it’s utilization, not drug costs, driving the trend. Overall healthcare spending is expected to rise 6.5% next year, in line with recent trends. In what could be a silver lining for the urgent care setting, more than 40% of employers say they would be happy to contract with fewer doctors in exchange for better pricing. Given the cost savings associated with urgent care, savvy operators will try to get a foot in the door, make their cost case, and become one of those lower cost preferred providers.

More Data Implicate Retail Clinics in Rising Health Spending
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