(USATODAY) — Families often turn to retail-based health clinics such as CVS' MinuteClinic, Walgreens' Healthcare Clinic or Kroger's The Little Clinic when a child is sick or needs shots. But the nation's largest group of pediatricians opposes such facilities for children's primary care, saying they do not provide the high-quality, coordinated preventive health care kids need.
In an update to its 2006 policy statement, released Monday, the American Academy of Pediatrics says that retail-based clinics (RBCs) are "an inappropriate source of primary care for pediatric patients, as they fragment medical care and are detrimental to the medical home concept of longitudinal and coordinated care." A medical home refers to a central provider who coordinates a child's medical care.
Although the basic message and stand from the academy have not changed since the 2006 statement, "the number of clinics has grown and they are used much more," says pediatrician James Laughlin, lead author of the statement and medical director for pediatrics at IU Health in Bloomington, Ind.
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