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July 23, 2007

The latest on Minute Clinics in Massachusetts

I'm just catching up with last week's Minute Clinic news here in Massachusetts. (TOH to A Healthy Blog; I can't be expected to read the paper all summer long, can I?)  For background, see earlier HealthBlawg posts on Minute Clinics generally and Minute Clinics' entry into Massachusetts.

The Boston Globe reports that the Department of Public Health will issue draft regulations for licensure of a new category of clinic represented by retail clinics rather than grant a whole raft of waivers from the existing clinic regulations as requested by CVS. 

To echo John McDonough's approval over at A Healthy Blog, John Auerbach, as DPH Commissioner, accomplishes a number of things by taking this approach: DPH (1) controls the agenda; (2) levels the playing field for community-based providers that may wish to test the waters of new models for health care delivery; (3) raises the big tent to let everyone have their say through the rulemaking's public hearing process; (4) eliminates a scattershot approach of a waiver here and a waiver there, or trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, in favor of a new creature of regulation that may have a positive impact on the local landscape; and (5) potentially improves access to limited health care services for certain vulnerable populations.

-- David Harlow

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Well, in hindsight it was perhaps to good to be true: limited service clinic licensure regulations proposed by the Massachusetts DPH in response to the CVS Minute Clinic license application (which was filed replete with waiver requests) seemed to be... [Read More]

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