(HealthDay)—The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) continues to oppose retail-based clinics (RBCs) as a source of pediatric primary care, according to a policy statement published online Feb. 24 in Pediatrics.
James J. Laughlin, M.D., and colleagues from the AAP Committee on Practice and Ambulatory Medicine have updated the AAP's 2006 statement on RBCs and provided recommendations relating to RBCs.
The authors note that RBCs offer more convenient and less expensive care than the medical home concept, but that care is fragmented, episodic, and not coordinated. The AAP continues to oppose RBCs as a source of pediatric primary care because they are detrimental to the medical home concept of longitudinal and coordinated care that the AAP and other medical associations support. Furthermore, the AAP is opposed to payers offering lower copays or financial incentives for receiving care at RBCs rather than their pediatrician or primary care physician. The AAP believes that the optimal standard of care is the medical home, and RBCs do not satisfy this definition. In the case of a pediatrician or pediatric medical home wishing to use the services of an RBC as a means to increasing access for acute care, the medical home and RBC should develop a formal collaborative relationship, including use of evidence-based pediatric protocols and standards, referral of all patients to their pediatric medical home, and formal arrangements for after-hours coverage or emergency protocols.
"As the RBC model continues to evolve, traditional RBCs, health systems, and insurance companies alike must recognize the critical role of the medical home in providing optimal health care for children," the authors write.