FastCare on top 10 list of retail clinic operators

03/17/2009

GREEN BAY - Merchant Medicine, a Minneapolis-based research and consulting firm that advises medical-care providers and employers on how to work within the retail clinic industry, named FastCare a top 10 retail clinic operator.

Bellin Health established the FastCare brand of retail health clinics in 2006. Bellin operates five FastCare clinics in the Northeast Wisconsin region, staffed by Bellin providers. FastCare has also partnered with 12 other health systems to establish 17 FastCare operations spread throughout Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois and Michigan.

Merchant Medicine, which ranked FastCare at No. 5 on its January 1 list of Top 10 U.S. Retail Clinic Operators, highlighted Bellin’s unique approach to owning and operating FastCare retail health clinics.

“The majority of hospital-based operators are just that: operators,” the firm said in a story on its web site. “But we are seeing the development of a new model that could be the beginning of local hospital systems becoming national players. Bellin Health System, based in Green Bay, Wis., is the best example we’ve seen of this new model.

“The model,” Merchant Medicine explains, “involves two pieces: operating clinics directly and helping other hospital systems through a licensing/consulting arrangement.”

“We are unique in the sense that we haven’t been content to simply operate FastCare clinics,” said Ken Berndt, director of business development at Bellin. “Our goal from very early on has been to assist other hospital systems in their efforts to integrate retail clinics into their health care delivery system.”

FastCare clinics offer health care for minor conditions and symptoms. Ailments treated at the clinics include: sore throat; fever; flu and common cold; ear and sinus infections; pink eye; skin rash; and allergies. FastCare clinics only take walk-in patients and are open to anyone.

The majority of FastCare clinics are located inside Shopko stores. Merchant Medicine listed Shopko among its Top 10 U.S. Retail Clinic Retailers.

FastCare clinics operate under the attributes for retail clinics as defined by the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association. These include offering to send each person’s primary care physician a report following a visit, having a well-defined and limited scope of clinical services with treatment plans that are evidence-based, and having a system for referring patients to physicians when symptoms exceed the clinic’s scope of services.

For more information, please call Ken Berndt at (920) 621-1615.