AAFP Spells Out Conditions for Retail Clinics

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AAFP Spells Out Conditions for Retail Clinics
AAFP Spells Out Conditions for Retail Clinics

(HealthDay News) -- Retail clinics have a place in the health care marketplace, but they must meet conditions relating to continuity of care, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).

Noting that retail clinics are rapidly spreading across the country, the AAFP recognizes their role in the health care marketplace. The Academy has adopted a list of conditions that must be fulfilled by retail clinics relating to the importance of continuity of care.

According to the report, retail clinics should employ local supervising physicians, preferably family physicians or other primary care providers. Clinics should seek to support the patient-centered medical home and coordination of care and should refer patients back to their primary care physician for ongoing care. Clinics should focus on a defined set of guideline-based episodic care services, delivered in coordination with primary care. In addition, they should use electronic health records to transfer patient records and establish protocols to ensure the timely transfer of medical records to primary care physicians. Clinics should assist patients to find a primary care physician in the community, including maintaining a list of family physicians who are accepting new patients.

"The AAFP Board of Directors has adopted the nine-point list as the first step in a 'tough love' approach that reflects the Academy's unwavering stance that patient care suffers when continuity of care is not maintained," according to the report.

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