KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Your child gets sick or just needs a sports physical. Do you go to one of those convenient clinics located in a store? The nation's pediatricians are advising parents not to.
Stephanie Garcia has never had thoughts of taking her children to a retail-based clinic.
"I think my kids are safer here and better -- well-taken care of here," said Garcia.
That's at the pediatrician's office. But many other parents at least occasionally take their kids to walk-in clinics in stores such as CVS and Walgreens. The clinics are usually staffed by nurse practitioners. An updated policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics says to parents -- don't go there.
Dr. Pam Shaw, a pediatrician at the University of Kansas Hospital, helped write the statement which says retail clinics fragment care. Dr. Shaw gives the example of a child getting a prescription at a retail clinic and then having a reaction to the medicine.
"The pediatrician then has to take care of that without knowing what was prescribed or what was done or what was actually seen at the retail-based clinic," said Dr. Shaw.
A statement from Dr. Andrew Sussman, the president of CVS's MinuteClinic, says, "We are committed to continuity of care."
Dr. Sussman goes on to say that children seen at their clinics are referred back to their pediatrician with "full documentation of the treatment" provided.
Dr. Shaw disagrees.
"That doesn't happen in a lot of cases and that's where the problem lies," said Dr. Shaw.
But is the pediatricians' statement rooted in their concern about money lost when patients go elsewhere?
"I really don't think it is self-serving, although it may appear that way," said Dr. Shaw.
She adds that pediatricians need to offer after-hours care, and a growing number are, so it will be easier for kids to receive all their care at the doctor's office.