Could / Should Healthcare Follow The Car Dealer

Healthcare is one of the few industries where more supply equals more demand.  (Maybe the only one.)

So, as we look at the healthcare shortage of PCPs, RN, and RPhs, should there be more discussion of closing locations?  Should we pursue the tact of the car manufacturers in closing dealerships to have less locations?  This would fly in the face of the MinuteClinic type of strategy.

Or, I guess the better question is whether there are certain points in the process where more access points are needed, but there are other points in the process where less access points are needed.  For example, do we really need 6x,000 retail pharmacies in the US.  Certainly, in some urban and suburban locations where the average person passes more than 3 pharmacies to get to the one they use, the answer is no.  In some rural locations, there is no option other than the one pharmacy that is 20 miles away.

Would this change our behavior?  I believe analysis would show that less testing facilities and more difficult access to certain tests would certainly change their use.  Would this address the problem or simply create more services that were being done outside the system (i.e., cash businesses)?

I don’t know the answer, but I haven’t heard anyone talking about what seems like a logical discussion.

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