June 20, 2012

AMA to “Evaluate” On-Site Clinic Trends

We might say, “It’s about time,” or, “What took so long?”    The amednews.com reported just this week that the House of Delegates will be considering a resolution “calling for the AMA to study work-site clinics and develop guidelines for their operation.”    This may be a little late in coming.   But, it is certainly understandable that this is an item of interest to the AMA and its members.

What is also interesting are some of the remarks in the article – for example:  “If the employer truly sees a gap that needs to be filled, [it should] give the local community a chance to address it.”  This was a comment of Terry McGreeney, M.D. (president of a consulting firm which is also an AAFP related entity).   The irony is that this is what precipitated the initiation of on-site clinics so long ago by people like Harry Quadracci at Quad Graphics; and continues to be a force in their expansion today.  The local medical community wasn’t doing the job.  Employees were (and are) complaining about lack of access, confusing rules about authorizations, pricing, out-of-pocket costs, follow-up, etc.   If the AAFP, the AMA and others want to participate, and include their local members and hospitals, perhaps they better look in their own backyards to understand the market, the employer and employee needs, and where they have fallen short historically in meeting those needs.  Stepping in now to propose “guidelines for their operation” is perhaps an affront to those of you who have successfully done so for years.

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