NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Check Up Before You Check Out: Retail Clinics and Emergency Room Use

Diane Alexander, Janet Currie, Molly Schnell

NBER Working Paper No. 23585
Issued in July 2017, Revised in November 2017
NBER Program(s):HC, HE

Policies such as liberalizing scope-of-practice rules about nurse practitioners have helped to fuel the rise of retail clinics nationwide. Given concern about inefficient use of the ER increasing health care costs, we use all emergency room (ER) visits in New Jersey from 2006-2014 to examine the impact of retail clinics on ER usage. We find that people residing close to an open clinic are 4.1-12.3 percent less likely to use an ER for preventable conditions and minor acute conditions. Our estimates suggest an annual cost savings of over $70 million from reduced ER usage if retail clinics were readily available across New Jersey.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w23585

 
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