Novel care centers : their impact on hospitalization and hospitalists
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Timely, affordable primary care is increasingly inaccessible for many patients, especially for the growing population of those disenfranchised by the health care system; these individuals have increasingly relied on Emergency Departments for the acute management of their problems. At the same time, EDs, an expensive means of health care (especially for the uninsured) have become excessively crowded and inefficient, having to deal with the additional load of non-critical urgencies. Medical Boutiques, Retail Care Kiosks and Urgent Care Centers (collectively referred to as Novel Care Centers -- NC -- in this article) are springing up to fill the void, marketing themselves as convenient sites for episodic, cheaper and more efficient care.