More than three-quarters of U.S. consumers are willing to get at least one treatment or wellness service from retail establishments or remotely, according to a new survey.


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The retailization of health care

June 2nd, 2014

NEW YORK – More than three-quarters of U.S. consumers are willing to get at least one treatment or wellness service from retail establishments or remotely, according to a new survey.

Of more than 2,000 people surveyed by the Health & Life Sciences practice group of Oliver Wyman, 77% were willing to receive a medical or wellness service at a retail establishment, or remotely.

Consumers expressed a wide range of opinions on what kinds of services they want to receive in which locations. Among the 77%, 32% were interested only if there was a partnership with a local health care provider, and 16% were interested only in wellness services such as advice on diet and nutrition.

Fifteen percent of consumers said they had used a retail clinic, while nearly twice as many said they were unfamiliar with the concept. Consumers are even less familiar with remote care via phone or the Internet, with 57% saying they were unfamiliar with the idea and only 8% saying they had used remote care services.

Urgent care clinics (freestanding clinics not located in another business establishment) have clearly established themselves in the public mind. Almost two-thirds of consumers would use them for treatment of minor health episodes, and smaller but still substantial numbers are interested in using them for physical exams, chronic disease counseling, advice on diet and wellness, and other services.

Retail clinics do not yet have the appeal of urgent care facilities, but there are pockets of strong interest. Notably, 36% of consumers are interested in receiving care for minor episodes at a drug store, and 20% at a grocery store. And when considering diet and nutrition advice, 35% of consumers were interested in getting it at a drug store, compared to 30% at an urgent care clinic and 22% at a supermarket.

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