People walk by a Walgreens store in San Francisco. The pharmacy industry thinks bigger is better to find cost savings.
People walk by a Walgreens store in San Francisco. The pharmacy industry thinks bigger is better to find cost savings. - 
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Got pink eye? Acne?  Need to shed a few pounds? Your local Walgreens and CVS want to take care of you in one of their on-site clinics.

"And those are proving to be very popular and have got some really big traction going on them," says J.B. Silvers, a health care economist.  He says under the new health care law, insurance companies are going to push more patients toward retail clinics, to cut down on charges from hospitals and doctor's offices.

Reid Blackwelder, president-elect of the American Academy of Family Physicians, says Walgreens and CVS shouldn’t start counting their money just yet. "Emergency rooms and retail clinics should not be routine and regular sources of care. He says patient care can becomes more fragmented when retail clinics take on a bigger role," he says.

"Unfortunately a lot of what's being suggested now is not in the mindset of a patient-centered coordinated care approach," says Blackwelder.

But Silvers says with the shortage of primary care doctors, and the push toward more preventive care, the clinics are likely to keep expanding.

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