Check up before you check out: Retail clinics and emergency room use

Diane Alexander, Janet Currie*, Molly Schnell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Given concern about inefficient use of the emergency room (ER) increasing health care costs, we use all ER visits in New Jersey from 2006 to 2014 to examine the impacts of retail clinics on ER use in a difference-in-difference framework. We find that among people residing close to an open retail clinic, the rate of ER use falls by 3.3–13.4% for preventable conditions and 5.7–12.0% for minor acute conditions, while a range of placebo conditions are not affected. Our estimates suggest annual cost savings of nearly $70 million from reduced ER use if retail clinics were readily available across New Jersey.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104050
JournalJournal of Public Economics
StatePublished - Oct 2019


  • Emergency room use
  • Health care access
  • Preventive care
  • Retail clinics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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