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CHICAGO -- The American Medical Association urged increased oversight of retail-based health clinics at the annual meeting of its House of Delegates here on Sunday, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Some AMA members argue that these convenient drop-in clinics, which have gained ground in the supermarket environment in the past year, could affect the quality of care that patients receive. They say that patients who have conditions more serious than a cold or sore throat could be misdiagnosed without the guidance of a physician. The clinics are typically staffed by nurse practitioners.
They also expressed concern over the suburban locations of the clinics, questioning whether the facilities are "cherry-picking" higher-income patients.
AMA is expected this week to recommend a requirement that doctors be involved in the protocols of the clinics and that nurse practitioners establish a referral system with physician practices, among other proposals, the Tribune reported.