Skip the retail clinic, go online–fine with Rite Aid

The Rite Aid drugstore chain – OptumHealth partnership is trialling perhaps the ultimate in ‘doc-in-a-box’, replacing the retail clinic visit with a virtual one via an interactive in-store kiosk. This version of the Rite Aid NowClinic is available at nine Detroit-area locations. Optum’s NowClinics, in conjunction with American Well, offer virtual visits and treatment for minor illnesses now in 22 states, from a slow start in Minnesota over a year ago [TA 1 Dec 10]. While an online consultation with a nurse is free, patients have the option to upgrade to a 10-minute e-visit with a physician for $45 by entering their credit card information, and can add five minutes more for $5-10 (like a taxi meter drop). American Medical News, FiercePractice Management. With telemedicine virtual consults catching on as money and time-saving, it’s good to know that the Feds have things well in hand with an upcoming bill in the US Senate to create a comprehensive and interoperable database of credentialed telemedicine practitioners and ensure license portability. iHealthBeat.