According to a story in today's Chicago Tribune
, "several doctors groups" are urging the AMA
to oppose the propagation of health clinics in retail outlets such as Wal-Mart and Walgreen. An AMA committee took testimony on Sunday and will be weighing its options for a recommendation to the full House of Delegates, which is in Chicago for its annual meeting
, over the next two days. The groups are in effect asking the AMA to take its traditional role of protecting the physicians' franchise from competition under the guise of promoting quality care. What is less clear is whether reduced costs and greater access to trained nurse practitioners and physicians assistants is harmful to the health of patients who may not have a lot of other options available to them for nonemergent care. This is a story that isn't going away anytime soon . . . .