Questions for Lindsey Black, Health Statistician and Lead Author of “Urgent Care Center and Retail Health Clinic Utilization Among Children: United States, 2019.”
Q: Why did you decide to research urgent care center and retail health clinic utilization among children?
LB: This is a growing segment of health care delivery system where many American’s seek both preventative and acute care. In addition, 2019 was the first time that utilization of urgent care was assessed among respondents of the National Health Interview Survey.
Q: Was there a specific finding in the data that surprised you from this report?
LB: I was surprised there was not a linear relationship between age and utilization. Often, we see as age increases, service utilization decreases, and other work specific to urgent care utilization has found that adolescents and young adults are more likely to utilize urgent care and retail-based clinic care compared to children.
Q: Can you explain what retail health clinic utilization is?
LB: Urgent care and retail health clinics are facilities that provide health care services to patients and you do not need to make an appointment ahead of time. They can be free standing, or within a grocery store or retail store setting. Services provided often range from routine vaccination to non-emergency acute care.
Q: Is there any trend data for this report?
LB: No. This is the only year of data available that includes urgent care and retail health clinic utilization measures.
Q: What is the take home message for this report?
LB: More than 1 in 4 U.S. children (26.4%) have had one or more visits to an urgent care center or retail health clinic in past year according to 2019 data from the National Health Interview Survey.