Saturday, July 19, 2008

Too many Cars on the Health Train??

Quote of the Day:
Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what stings is justice.
--H.L. Mencken

I go to my CVS pharmacy quite often because my wife, myself and one of children have chronic medical conditions. My son has cystic fibrosis, and that is another story in itself.

About 8 months ago several aisles were cleared near the pharmacy and a sign went up.  "Minute Clinic coming to serve you, soon."  The space remained vacant for several months.

Eventually construction crews arrived, taking about two months to build the clinic, with two rooms and a computer kiosk at the entrance for patients to register, and enter a brief intake history.

Several months later it opened for business.  In the interim there were multiple newpaper ads, cable news ads, and mailers sent to the neighborhood.  There were even five or six chairs set up in the pharmacy as a waiting area.

I will give them CVS is located in an area with plenty of doctors (in Southern California).

I observed their operations from a distance and noted that 90% of the time there were no patients in the clinic, and a lone NP,, usually reading the computer.  On three occassions there were two NPs present, with no patients, and one time one NP was examining the other one.

After about six months on one day it seemed unusuallly busy. As I walked by there were five people in one room.  All of them had laptops, PDAs and/or cell phones.  One had an obsolete yellow legal pad and a yellow number 2 pencil. Three of them were "suits".  This was obviously their semi-annual review and performance reports. 

My estimate is that they perhaps saw two patients a week. Not a bad investment of at least 100,000 dollars in tenant improvements, computers, equipment and personell costs. I guess CVS needed a write off.

Perhaps in some rural communities this new paradigm might have something useful to offer, but not in a typical urban or suburban area. 

Maybe I could open a lipo or vein and tattoo removal service. I hear the space is up for rent.

What's your opinion??

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