Accenture forecasts fast retail clinic growth

by The Associated Press

Consulting firm Accenture says it expects the number of retail health clinics in the U.S. to double by the end of 2015, as they help meet a surge in demand for care from millions of people who will gain insurance coverage through the national health care overhaul.

Accenture counted 1,418 clinics at the end of last year and says that total will climb to 2,868 in 2015.

Those clinics have been popping up in places like drugstores for years. They are generally staffed by nurse practitioners or physician assistants and handle relatively minor conditions like .

The overhaul calls for an expansion of the state-federal Medicaid program for the poor and disabled people, and the government will begin offering income-based credits next year to help people buy insurance.

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